From the collection of:
A Practical Guide To
A Practical Guide to
By A. L. CARR
HARPER & BROTHERS • PUBLISHERS
New York and London
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO PREFABRICATED HOUSES
Copyright, 1947, by Ante Lee Carr
Printed in the United States of America
All rights in this book reserved. ■
No part of the book may be reproduced in anv manner
whatsoever without written permission except in the case of
brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
For information address Harper & Brothers
Partner in all mv worth-while endeavors
Part /—The Prefabrication Industry As a Whole
Building Methods from Noah Till Now 3
What Do You Mean- 'Prefabricated"? 5
The History of Prefabrication 8
The Advantages of Prefabrication 1 1
Better design and plan
Speed in construction
Problems Which Confront Prefabrication 14
Opposition of the building industry
Antiquated building codes
Merchandising— The Final Hurdle 15
Part II— Prefabricators and Their Houses
Ford Factory-Built Homes
Green's Laurel Homes
Green's Solar Homes
Hayes Econocrete Homes
Lc Tourncau Homes
Pcaseway Homes 83
Precision Homes 87
Prenco Homes 91
Raleigh Mastercraft Homes 95
Wingfoot Homes 99
Directory of American Prefabricators - 103
Checklist of Things to Look for in Buying a House 109
THE PREFABRICATION INDUSTRY
AS A WHOLE
Building Methods from Noah Till Now
CENTURIES have passed since Noah
and his three sons felled the cypress
trees, hewed them into planks and timbers,
whittled out innumerable pegs and under-
took the slow and laborious task of con-
structing the Ark. Our mass production
age has little in common with the age of
Noah. We wear mass produced clothes, eat
mass produced foods, drive mass produced
automobiles, but, when it comes to the
construction of homes, we are back to
Noah again. It is true that building ma-
terials have changed. Nails have displaced
wooden pegs, the lumber yard supplies
smooth surfaced joists or siding in uniform
lengths, and science and industry have con-
tributed a myriad of new materials. Our
methods of construction, however, remain
antiquated and uneconomical. Thousands
of pieces of lumber in comparatively small
sizes are brought to the place of construc-
tion and here each piece is carefully meas-
ured, cut, fitted and nailed by hand in ap-
proximately the same way these operations
have been performed for centuries. We
mix mortar and lay bricks one at a time
just as the ancient Egyptians did. Noah
might feel strangely out of place amid mod-
ern materials, but he would be quite at
home among the building methods we
Suppose we built automobiles by the
same handicraft methods we employ in
building houses. Three results are obvious,
and each is undesirable. First, we could not
obtain our new automobiles as quickly as
under mass production methods. It would
be necessary to employ an engineer to draw
up plans, and we would have to consult
with him concerning the body design, the
type of engine, and the upholstery. A con-
tractor would have to be employed and
he, in turn, would employ subcontractors
to take over portions of the job. The ma-
terials would have to be selected, ordered
from various sources and then assembled.
Instead of walking into a dealer's show-
room, writing out a check and driving out
with a new car, we would have to wait for
weeks and perhaps months for completion
of our custom-built car. Secondly, an auto-
mobile so designed and constructed would
not be as good a car as one rolling off a
factory production line. Materials ordered
from various sources would not have stand-
ardized design or uniform measurements,
and parts would probably require substan-
tial alteration in order to be fitted together
at all. Thirdly, a hand-built car would be
too expensive for most people who now ■
own automobiles. Alfred P. Sloan, Chair-
man of the Board of General Motors Cor-
poration, stated that a hand-made Chevro-
let would cost not less than $5,000, and
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
would be a poorer car than factory-built
models. Thus if we built automobiles as we
build houses, we could expect to have fewer
cars, poorer cars and more expensive cars,
These results are realities in the housing
field. Fully half of our population has never
been housed, in the real meaning of the
term, but has lived in obsolete housing dis-
carded by the higher income groups. Six
million families have no running water and
ten million have no bathrooms. These fam-
ilies want new, modern homes, but the
high cost of housing constructed by hand
has placed it out of their reach. Income
studies show that in 1939 about 85 per cent
of American families had annual incomes
of $2,500 or less. According to recognized
standards, these families should pay no
more than twice their annual income (that
is, $5,000 or less ) for a home, yet practically
all of the private home building in the past
twenty-five years has been of houses selling
for considerably more than $5,000. By
1940, a deficit of two million homes already
existed. The accumulated obsolescence of
old dwellings during five years of war has
increased that deficit by an additional
1,500,000 homes. Hundreds of thousands
of veterans and transplanted war workers
are returning to find that there are no suit-
able living accommodations for their fam-
ilies. The means of supplying millions of
comfortable, modern homes quickly and at
prices which most people can afford is one
of the principal present-day problems.
Fortunately, we are not wholly depend-
ent.upon the hand saw and hammer meth-
ods of construction in this emergency. In
recent years a revolution has been taking
place in the building industry. Far-seeing
individuals and companies have attempted
to bring a delinquent construction system
into step with the mass production age and
to construct houses in the same manner we
build furniture or automobiles.
If you want a new house, you may now
go to a number of companies and select
from scores of plans and designs the type of
home you desire. It may be Cape Cod,
Colonial or modern in design, it may have
one bedroom or four as you choose, but in
the construction, it will be an altogether
new kind of house. The men who come to
erect it will come without chisels, mitre
boxes and saws. They will have the job
completed in less than a week. There will
be no unhappy piles of waste lumber, no
trash to haul away. You can move in with-
out delay when the workmen leave. To
your admiring friends you can say, "It's
What Do You Mean —"Prefabricated"?
It has been said, and with much justifica-
tion, that prefabrication is ' 'all things to all
people/' To some it means a completed
house with each light bulb attached in its
socket, rolling off the production line. To
others it signifies no more than factory-
built door and window units ready for
installation in traditionally-built homes.
While it is next to impossible to obtain a
definition inclusive enough to encompass
the various types and degrees of prefabrica-
tion, it is not difficult to assay the general
purpose of the prefabrication industry. It
proposes to apply the most up-to-date in-
dustrial principles of mass production to
the realm of home construction. Instead of
cutting and fitting on the site each of the
many small units that go into a home, it
would employ machinery in an orderly pro-
duction line to perform these operations
more quickly, accurately and cheaply. In
varying degrees simplified construction is
sought by increasing the proportion of
work to be done before erection. There
are five principal methods of prefabrica-
tion now being practiced throughout the
PRE-cuT-Every piece measured, cut and marked
for easy erection.
(1) Pre-Cut Method. A pre-cut house
differs from the traditionally-built house in
only one important respect— all the meas-
uring and sawing is done at the factory. The
prospective buyer selects a plan from many
diversified styles displayed in a catalogue or
showroom. Within a week or two there is
delivered at the building site all of the ma-
terial which goes into the construction of
his home, each piece having been carefully
cut to the right size and numbered for iden-
tification. These are then assembled by
local workmen or, perhaps, by the owner
himself if he is proficient with a hammer.
The plumbing, electrical and heating sys-
tems are installed in the course of erection
exactly as in the traditionally-built home.
PANELS-Materials cut and fabricated into com-
plete panels with doors, windows, and insulation
(2) Panel Method. This type of con-
struction carries factory operations a step
further than the pre-cut system. After the
materials have been cut to the proper size
and shape, they are not then shipped to the
site (as in the case of pre-cut homes), but
are moved to another part of the factory
where they are assembled into large wall,
floor, ceiling and roof sections. Each sec-
tion is a solid unit and may be as large as 8
feet high by 21 feet long. The panels pro-
duced by some companies consist merely
of the framing studs and plates nailed to-
gether and attached to the exterior sheath-
ing. If this is all the work that is performed
at the factory, it saves only a little more
time at the site than does the pre-cut meth-
od. It is still necessary to apply siding, shin-
gles, or some other finish to the exterior,
and lath and plaster or wall-boarding on
the interior after the panels are delivered
at the place of construction. Most com-
panies, however, complete both the inte-
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
rior and exterior of the panels at the fac-
tory so that they need only to be joined
together at the site.
A further development of the panel sys-
tem is the standardized or modular panels
used by several concerns. By this method
all wall panels, whether they contain win-
dows, doors, or blank wall, are the same
size. Thus a company can offer many dif-
ferent plans and designs of homes by sim-
ply changing the number or arrangement
of the panels used. These panels are usually
4 feet by 8 feet in size, although some com-
■ panies employ other sizes. The wall panels
are solidly constructed with the interior
and exterior surfaces permanently bonded
to wood or steel frames with the latest
plastic materials. All panels are completely
insulated. The door and window sections
are equipped with frames, doors, windows,
hardware and screens at the factory. The
panels, equipment and parts for a complete
home are shipped by truck or rail to the
owner's site, where the panels are set up
and locked to each other and to the foun-
dation with invisible steel connectors. This
type of prefabricated home ordinarily
comes complete with all necessary plumb-
ing, lighting and heating installations, and
sometimes is furnished with electric re-
frigerator, stove and washing machine.
SECTioNS-The entire house assembled by factory
experts into a few easily joined, truckable units.
(3) Sectional Method. By this system
the factory produces complete sections of
houses, rather than flat panels to be joined
together at the site. A cottage 30 feet in
length by 24 feet in width, for example,
might be produced in four sections 7V2
feet wide by 24 feet long by 9V2 feet high.
Each section would contain one complete
portion of the building: floors, walls, ceil-
ing and roof with the plumbing and light-
ing equipment, bathroom and kitchen fix-
tures, heating facilities, windows, doors,
screens, cabinets, even the clothes hooks
in the closets and the towel racks in the
bathroom installed at the factory. Spe-
cial cranes lift each section on to large
truck trailers at the factory and again from
the trailer to the foundation at the site.
Such a sectional house may be trucked hun-
dreds of miles from factory to foundation
and be completely erected on the site in
less than a day's time.
Complete assembly — Smaller homes are some-
times wholly constructed at the factory and de-
livered ready for occupancy.
(4) Complete Assembly Method. This
type of prefabrication is exactly what its
name implies — a system by which the
home is entirely built and outfitted at the
factory. The real problem encountered by
this method is the difficulty of transport-
ing the home from factory to site. Either
the house must be quite small and com-
pact in order to permit hauling for some
distance, or, if it is larger, it must be used
in the immediate vicinity of the factory.
As a result of these transportation difficul-
ties, this type of prefabrication is, and will
probably remain, very limited.
( 5 ) Cast Concrete Methods. Mention
must also be made of certain methods re-
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
Concrete— New lightweight, insulated concrete
can be formed into large building panels or com-
plete house units.
lating to the use of concrete, which, al-
though not widely employed in the past,
now show promise of commercial devel-
opment. In general two principal methods
have been utilized, although countless vari-
ations of these methods have been intro-
duced. The first is the precasting of the
concrete into large floor, wall, ceiling and
roof panels which are then transported to
the site and swung into place by a movable
crane. The units are usually hollow cored
for lightness and insulation, and the walls
are dressed up with decorative indenta-
tions, lines or friezes so that little finishing
By the second method elaborate molds
are transported to the site and into these
quick-drying concrete is poured so as to
form a complete house in one operation.
The molds can then be removed, trans-
ported to a new site and the operation re-
The History of Prefabrication
The idea of prefinishing or prefabricating
a house is not new. More than half a cen-
tury ago a few companies began to pre-cut
lumber to the exact size and shape required
by local contractors. In time basic house
plans were developed and all the items
used in the construction of such a house,
from pre-cut rafters and beams down to
the. front door key, were offered for sale
as a 'package" or "unit/' Large mail-order
firms took up the distribution of pre-cut
homes and this type of prefabrication has
become widely known as the "mail-order
At about the same time that the pre-cut
method was developing, the early antece-
dents of the panel type of prefabrication
were being introduced. The operations of
one of the first companies to enter this
field date back as far as 1892. The early
manufacturers of this type of factory con-
struction confined their production, for the
most part, to smaller structures such as
chicken houses, vacation cottages and chil-
dren's play houses. Later they undertook
the production of garages and larger dwell-
ings, but it was not until the introduction
of the sheet materials, such as plywood,
fiberboard, plaster and gypsum board that
the panel method of prefabrication devel-
oped into its present form.
Shortly after the beginning of the pres-
ent century, a number of experimenters
attempted to apply industrial techniques
to the construction of concrete houses. The
inventor, Thomas A. Edison, was one of
these. In 1908 he patented a method for
casting in place a one, two or even three
story house in a single operation. Cast-iron
or wooden forms were to be assembled
and bolted together on the foundation to
the entire height of the house and then
concrete was to be carried from the mixer
by a mechanical conveyor to funnels at
the top of the form. Because of Edison's
prominence, his experiments attracted
wide attention, but they proved impracti-
cal and were soon abandoned.
The experiments of the able architect,
Grosvenor Atterbury, although they at-
tracted less attention than those of Edison,
were much more successful. The Atterbury
system employed hollow-cored, precast
concrete panels for walls, floors and roofs
which were molded at the factory, hauled
to the site and then swung into place by
large cranes. Between 1913 and 1918, this
system was extensively employed in the
erection of the Russell Sage Foundation
low cost housing development in Forest
Hills, Long Island, and produced houses
which were attractive, durable and livable.
However, since the precast units were
heavy to transport and difficult to put
in place and a large investment was neces-
sary in plant and equipment, the system
fell into disuse except for large-scale build
With the exception of a brief flurry of
construction of emergency housing and
barracks during the First World War, little
of interest occurred with respect to pre-
fabrication methods until the late 1920's
and the early 19 30^. Then four wholly
unrelated events caused the prefabrication
movement to spring to life and to turn
into new avenues of expression.
The first of these was the stimulus of
new ideas. A number of prominent archi-
tects and designers attracted wide atten-
tion by proposing radical new designs for
the house of the future. Perhaps the most
revolutionary of these new designs was the
"Dymaxion House," an eight-sided struc-
ture suspended in mid-air from a large cen-
tral core, which was introduced in 1927 by
Buckminster Fuller. In the projected Dy-
maxion House, one could drive his car
into the shelter area beneath the first floor,
step into the elevator in the central core
and be carried to the first floor living area,
containing living and dining room, kitch-
en, laundry, bedrooms and baths, or to the
top or roof deck intended as an outdoor
recreation area. All the utility services-
plumbing, heating, air conditioning, laun-
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
dry— were to be built into the central core.
In daytime the house was to be lighted via
translucent and transparent plastic walls
and at night by carefully planned, built-in
indirect lighting. Fuller estimated that
such a house fully equipped (even to non-
slamming pneumatic doors and a televi-
sion unit) would cost only $3,000 if full-
scale mass production were adopted. Other
houses of the future designed by such
well-known architects as Richard Neutra
and George Fred Keck, though somewhat
less abrupt in their departure from tradi-
tional designs, were equally stimulating to
thought and discussion, and the daily
newspapers and periodicals gave wide pub-
licity to the emergence of these new ideas
A second factor which gave impetus to
the prefabrication movement was the in-
troduction of sheet materials. As long as
traditional materials such as sheathing,
siding and lath were employed, the assem-
bly of a house, even under factory condi-
tions, was bound to be slow and laborious.
However, when new materials like ply-
wood or wallboard became available in
large thin sheets, the nailing in place of
hundreds of pieces of lath and numerous
narrow pieces of sheathing or siding be-
came unnecessary. By new bonding meth-
ods, appropriate sheet materials and fram-
ing could be welded together with phenol-
ic resin under heat and pressure into a
strong laminated structural panel. Many
new systems of prefabrication were devel-
oped in the 1930's based upon the use of
wall and fiber boards in 4 by 8 feet sizes,
and these materials have now been in-
creased in dimensions, so as to be available
in the sizes required for the entire side of
a room or wall.
A third factor was the enormous quan-
tity of research and experimentation con-
ducted by non-commercial as well as com-
mercial organizations. The Pierce Founda-
tion Housing Research Division created in
1931, the Purdue Research Foundation
Housing Project organized in 1935 and the
Sheet materials have simplified the manufacture
of house panels.
Bemis Foundation established in 1938 are
three endowed agencies which have pio-
neered with various types of construction,
studied and tested structural materials and
methods ' and continually influenced the
prefabrication movement. Agencies of the
federal government, such as the Forest
Products Laboratory, the Bureau of Stand-
ards, the Farm Security Administration
and the T.V.A., made tests and set up
standards for structural methods, materials
and equipment and have undertaken to
develop and erect low cost housing em-
bodying materials and methods thus tested
and approved. The F.S.A. constructed
whole communities of low cost homes for
sharecroppers and dust bowl evacuees.
T.V.A., in order to provide temporary
housing for construction workers on dams
and power facilities, developed a house in
truckable sections which was built and as-
sembled at the factory, hauled to the site
in large sections and then quickly joined
together. The first units built by T.V.A.
were moved over rough roads as far as 80
miles from the plant and proved a com-
plete success. Later full-sized houses were
constructed by this sectional method and
a number of companies throughout the
country were licensed to employ the
The fourth factor which gave impetus
to the prefabrication movement was the
depression which began in 1929. When
hard times came, there were many who re-
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
called the prediction that new and modern
homes could be supplied by mass produc-
tion methods for as little as $3,000. Raw
material producers viewed prefabrication
as a potential market to bolster up declin-
ing sales for steel, plywood and equipment.
For a time it seemed that prefabrication
would be the promising new industry
which might pull America out of econom-
ic morass. Individual companies, such as
American Rolling Mills, United States
Steel and Republic Steel 7 set up subsidi-
aries to use steel in the manufacture of
prefabricated houses. Equipment manu-
facturers, such as Harnischfeger Corpora-
tion and Hobart Brothers, began to pro-
duce housing by factory methods employ-
ing their machinery. Manufacturers of in-
sulating board, such as Celotex Corpora-
tion and Homasote Company, set up hous-
ing companies to push the use of their
materials. In addition, scores of new con-
cerns entered the field and tried their hand
at one or more types of prefabricated
homes. Many of today's well-known pre-
fabricators— American Houses, Gunnison
Housing Corporation, General Houses and
others— were organized during this period.
Despite all the enthusiasm and the bally-
hoo, prefabrication failed to burst forth as
a major industry during the depression era.
There were numerous reasons for this fail-
ure. The low prices suggested by Fuller
and others were predicated on the assump-
tion of large-scale mass production meth-
ods, and houses proved far more costlv
when small-scale operations were at-
tempted. The purchasing volume of small
plants was too limited to affect the savings
in cost of raw materials possible in mass
buying. Many of the smaller concerns were
inadequately financed and could not sur-
vive long periods of experimentation. Mar-
keting facilities had not been worked out
and insufficient assistance and guidance in
erection were afforded to the purchaser.
Consequently, a large part of the public
lost interest in prefabrication and the pre-
fabrication industry entered upon a period
of lean years. These years were spent by
many of the surviving companies in re-
engineering and redesigning their basic
house plans and in engineering their plants
for efficiency and speed. Merchandising
systems were improved and simpler erec-
tion methods devised. And finally, they be-
gan to sell their houses, not on the basis
of publicity and ballyhoo in the Sunday
supplements, but on appearance, conveni-
ence and dollar value.
Nevertheless, when the war came, the
prefabrication movement was still in the
experimental stage. It has emerged from
the war in the mass production stage, in-
finitely stronger than when it went in.
The government's wartime housing pro-
gram provided the first volume market the
industry has ever enjoyed, and it has dem-
onstrated what prefabrication can do un-
der favorable conditions, The industry has
acquired large plant facilities and it has a
trained personnel. It is now in a position
to become a strong contender for a major
share of the current housing requirements.
The Advantages of Prefabrication
Mass production methods have proved
themselves superior to hand methods in
the production of automobiles, clothes
and breakfast food. The construction of
houses is proving to be no exception to the
rule. Prefabrication, when employed on a
substantial scale, affords a number of im-
portant advantages to the home builder
over traditional methods of building.
Less Expensive. Prefabricated homes
are less expensive, in the first place, be-
cause prefabricators have eliminated much
of the middleman's profit and the waste of
labor and materials which are involved in
the traditional construction. A survey
made in 1943 and 1944 by the Comptroller
of United Construction Workers (an af-
filiate of United Mine Workers) revealed
that the materials and mechanical equip-
ment for a $5,000 house actually cost
$1,200 at the initial source. Approximately
$2,500 or half of the total cost of such a
house is consumed in wholesaler-jobber-
retailer transactions. Less than $250 worth
of lumber at the original mill costs the
home owner almost $1,100, trim worth
$195 costs him $980, $4 worth of glass at
the wholesale source ends up with a retail
price tag of ten times that amount. The
shipping, handling and storing charges and
the profits of the various middlemen who
are involved in distributing and selling
the thousands of parts that go into the or-
dinary house consume most of the price
of the house. The prefabricator, since he
buys in mass, is able to make his purchases
directly from the producer of the material,
and thus bypass the sales and handling
costs of numerous middlemen with their
pyramiding profits. Thus material costs
are reduced by as much as forty per cent.
In the second place, prefabrication is
more economical in the use of materials
than ordinary construction. When hand
saw and hammer methods are employed,
an allowance of at least 20 per cent must
be made for waste. Often when there is
poor management and workmanship on a
construction job, the waste greatly exceeds
this amount. Mass production methods,
by purchasing materials in the exact sizes
required, by careful engineering and de-
sign so as to eliminate waste and by pre-
cision, machine operations, make it pos-
sible to utilize almost 100 per cent of the
In the third place, the labor costs on a
prefabricated house are less than on a house
built by ordinary methods. Union labor in
the prefabrication factory receives from
$.75 to $1.00 per hour as compared to an
hourly rate of from $1.00 to $2.00 for car-
penters and other skilled workmen in the
building trades. This disparity results, in
large measure, from the fact that the fac-
tory worker is sheltered from the elements
and can work and earn throughout the
year without being dependent on the
weather, whereas ordinary building is sea-
sonal and the carpenter or mason is able
to work and earn during only part of the
year. The result, however, is that the labor
costs (even assuming the number of man
hours to be the same) for the factory sys-
tem are about half those of the traditional
Not only is the cost of labor per hour
reduced by prefabrication, but the man
hours required to construct a house are
likewise reduced. Every "tailor-made" job
necessitates bringing a certain amount of
equipment to the site, setting it up there,
and then removing it when the job is
finished. Not so in the factory. There
equipment is set up only once for the
production of hundreds or thousands of
homes. In ordinary construction, tools and
equipment must be gathered up and stored
away and materials must be put under
shelter at the close of each day. In the fac-
tory, equipment and materials are always
under shelter. Furthermore, machine pow-
ered conveyors and hoists in the factory
do many of the hard and slow tasks which
must be performed by hand in site con-
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
Panels are bonded in heated hydraulic presses to
form sturdy, durable walls.
It is unlikely that prefabricators will be
in a position to pass along immediately all
of these savings to the home buyer. Every
new industry is faced with many develop-
mental expenses which increase production
and selling costs in the earlier stages of
operation. Nevertheless, prefabrication al-
ready offers a substantial reduction in cost
over ordinary building methods. Most pre-
fabricators are concentrating their princi-
pal activities in the price field $4,000 to
$8,000, although a subsidiary of a well-
known rubber company plans to sell a two
bedroom house with modern equipment
for less than $2,500, and some of these
companies have models which sell up to
Better Construction. A few years ago a
South American coffee grower, while on a
business trip to the United States, chanced
to remark that frequent earthquakes in
his native country often damaged or de-
stroyed the houses there. It was suggested
to the coffee grower that he investigate
some of the prefabricated houses which
were being introduced on the market at
that time. He made careful inquiry into
the construction of these factory-built
houses and finally purchased one, had it
shipped to his plantation and erected
there. Since that time, quakes and shim-
mies have come and gone, but the most
that has happened to the house he bought
is a few broken windowpanes. One need
not go to South America, however, for
proof of the better construction offered
by factory fabrication. Numerous tests
conducted in wind tunnels, laboratories,
and in the field provide ample confirma-
tion of this fact. Some prefabricated houses
have demonstrated a capacity to withstand
windloads up to 200 miles per hour, as
compared with 70 miles per hour for con-
ventional houses. Factory-built floor pan-
els have been tested to withstand a live
load in excess of 600 pounds per square
foot, while floors of conventional houses
have an average strength of approximately
50 pounds per square foot.
New materials are being employed in
factory-built homes to give increased
strength and durability. Light metals such
as aluminum and magnesium, now avail-
able at new low prices and in greatly in-
creased quantities, are being used in wall
and roof panels and in structural units.
Many prefabricators employ steel for such
supporting members as joists and studs.
One of the most important improvements
is the plywood panel, impregnated and
bonded with phenol formaldehyde resin,
which is much stronger than ordinary
wood. Windows which admit the ultra-
violet rays of the sun are being made of
plastics such as Plexiglas and Lucite, which
were developed during the war for use in
bomber noses and gun turrets.
The nature of the work involved in pre-
fabrication also contributes to better con-
struction. Machine operations are usually
more precise than hand operations, and
repetitive tasks in the factory are more
conducive to good construction than di-
verse tasks on the site. Thus one finds a
precision and exactness in measurements
and fittings in mass production homes
which are absent in traditional building.
The net result is a stronger, better, longer
Better Design and Plan. The average
family about to build a home either draws
its own plan, selects one from a book of
house plans, or employs an architect.
Where no architect is employed, many en-
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
gineering and architectural problems are
certain to be overlooked. Perhaps as a re-
sult the house is poorly balanced in appear-
ance, does not heat well or presents other
problems stemming from faulty design.
Even if an architect is employed, it is un-
likely that his fee will permit him to de-
vote more than a few weeks to a single
house plan. In contrast, major prefabrica-
tors employ not one architect, but several
architects and engineers who devote
months and even years in the designing
and perfecting of house plans which will
provide the maximum in attractiveness,
comfort and durability for the lowest pos-
sible cost. In response to a recent question-
naire sent out to prefabricators, it was de-
termined that the average number of ar-
chitects employed by each company is
between three and four. These companies
have poured hundreds of thousands of
dollars into the designing of homes and
construction of experimental models to
test out their architectural and engineer-
ing soundness. Thus the prefabricated
house which is ultimately delivered to the
home owner is the result of research and
design far in excess of what any individual
could afford in planning a single house.
Speed in Construction. One man
equipped with the power machinery of a
factory production line can do the work
of many men employing only hand tools.
Thus the larger the proportion of the work
done by factory methods, the greater the
saving in time and labor. The pre-cut
method of prefabrication effects a saving
of approximately 25 per cent in the time
and labor required for construction, and
the panel and sectional methods, which
carry factory operations much further than
the pre-cut, effect even further savings in
time. One company has long advertised
"a home every 25 minutes" and it plans to
reduce this time to the point where a new
house will come rolling off the assembly
line every fifteen minutes. Furthermore,
since the traditional building trades are in
the business of constructing office build-
ings, apartment houses, theaters, stores and
other business structures, as well as houses,
the family which desires to build a home
in the usual manner must compete with
these larger and more profitable building
jobs. The prefabrication industry, on the
other hand, is primarily in the business of
building homes and its whole effort is ex-
pended in getting the maximum number
of private homes on the market.
However, the current shortages of such
essential raw materials as lumber, plywood,
gypsum board, nails, hardware, and plumb-
ing equipment have prevented the indus-
try from operating at capacity. Only about
thirty thousand prefabricated homes were
produced during the first nine months of
1946 as compared with an industry capac-
ity of many times that amount. Thus,
until raw materials are available, prefabri-
cators will not be in a position to apply the
speed of their processes to the production
of large quantities of houses.
Flexibility. The house of ordinary con-
struction, once it is completed, is wholly
inflexible in its plan. To put in new win-
dows or to change the location of a door
means cutting into the wall of the house,
removing studding, putting in new frames
and then replastering and re-siding the
area. Such a procedure involves consider-
able time, expense and inconvenience. The
panel type prefabricated house, however,
offers a flexibility unique in building. If,
after having lived in your prefabricated
home a few months or many years, you
decide that a row of windows on the south
side of your living room is what you want,
all you will have to do is to arrange with
your local dealer for a "painless" alteration.
His workmen can substitute or rearrange
window or door panels in a matter of a few
hours without waste or dirt or inconve-
Problems Which Confront Prefabrication
Any fair appraisal of the prefabrication
movement, its products and its prospects
requires consideration of the shortcomings
and of the problems with which prefabri-
cation is faced. Some of these problems-
standardization, distribution and transpor-
tation—arise from within the prefabrica-
tion movement and must be worked out
by the industry itself if it is to succeed and
prosper. Others, however, are external and
reflect the opposition of the vested inter-
ests who see prefabrication as a challenge
to their own position in the housing field.
In some instances these negative factors
may outweigh the advantages of prefabri-
cation and make it inconvenient or unde-
sirable to purchase a mass production
house. The prospective buyer should al-
ways assay the problems involved before
he signs on the dotted line.
Opposition of the Building Industry.
Prefabrication has been confronted not
only by apathy, but by actual hostility on
the part of the traditional building system.
Real estate and financial interests, appre-
hensive as to the effect of cheaper and bet-
ter prefabricated houses on old, overpriced,
overmortgaged ones, have refused loans
and other assistance in connection with
mass produced houses. Contractors and
building trades unions, fearing that factory
construction will supplant many of their
jobs, have refused to erect prefabricated
houses, or to connect the plumbing, gas
or electricity, or have exacted exorbitant
"work permit" charges which raised the
cost of the houses. Jurisdictional disputes
between C.I.O. unions in prefabrication
factories and the A. F. of L. building trades
unions present further areas of difficulty.
Fortunately, the opposition of these va-
rious groups and the attending difficulties
are not widespread. For the most part they
are confined to our larger urban centers.
Nevertheless, any one planning to acquire
a prefabricated house should ascertain
whether these conditions exist in his com-
munity. If they do, the purchaser would
be wise to arrange with the prefabricator
for the latter to assume the responsibility
for erecting the house and putting it in
readiness for occupancy. Many companies
maintain their own construction crews for
Antiquated Building Codes. The build-
ing ordinances in many of our urban cen-
ters are hopelessly out of date and in many
respects not adapted to modern construc-
tion methods. Some of these codes require
the use of old-fashioned materials while
excluding the use of newer, more desirable
materials. Others fix minimum dimensions
for floor joists, roof rafters and wall studs.
When originally adopted, many years ago,
wood was the only material employed for
residential framework and these provisions
may have afforded some protection against
"jerry-built" houses. But today if a prefab-
ricator who uses steel or laminated wood
for structural members were to abide by
some of the dimensions designated, he
could support a skyscraper on the frame-
work of his prefabricated house.
Furthermore, building codes have been
notorious footballs for politicians and
sometimes are filled with unreasonable re-
strictions and featherbedding practices
dictated by shrewd lobbyists or influential
labor groups. As a result, the widespread
use of prefabrication is seriously handi-
capped because in a great many of the
larger cities, prefabricated construction is
either not permitted or made extremely
The United States Department of Com-
merce is aware of these conditions and is
now attempting to work out a uniform
code which can be used throughout the
nation. Until building codes are modern-
ized, however, urban dwellers will find it
difficult, if not impossible, to take advan-
tage of prefabricated homes and the entire
prefabrication industry will suffer from be-
ing excluded from the large metropolitan
Transportation Costs. It you chance to
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
live in Montana or Saskatchewan, you will
probably lose your enthusiasm for prefab-
rication when you see the substantial item
in the price of the house marked 'Trans-
portation Costs/' The pre-cut house, be-
cause of the rudimentary nature of the
prefabrication involved, can be shipped for
long distances, but most other types of
mass produced houses have definite limits
as to the distance which they can be eco-
nomically transported. The most desirable
way to ship prefabricated houses is by truck
trailer which can be power loaded at the
factory and driven directly to the site. The
truck can be detached and the house con-
structed from the trailer while the truck
is making other deliveries with alternative
trailers. It has been suggested that 300
miles is the maximum shipping radius for
this method of transportation. Ultimately
the prefabrication industry will become de-
centralized, factories will be strategically
located within easy reach of a large per-
centage of our population and shipping
charge will amount to no more than $50
or $75. At the present, however, it is nec-
essary to ship hundreds of miles to secure
the advantages of prefabrication in some
parts of the country and where consider-
able distances are involved, the prospective
purchaser should weigh the additional ex-
pense against the benefits obtained.
Standardization. When we buy automo-
biles, refrigerators or radios, we accept
products which are substantially identical
to those purchased by our next door neigh-
bor, our friends and others in the same
community. As to these and countless
other products, the public has been per-
suaded that standardization in design is
desirable, or at least acceptable, in order
to obtain benefits of mass production. This
is not yet the case in the housing field.
Our homes, like ladies' hats, must express
the owner's individuality and taste if not
distinction and style. Many of the early
prefabricators did not recognize this fact,
and discovered that their standardized
product was not marketable, despite care-
ful design and engineering and sound con-
struction. The prefabricator of today has
varied his bill of fare. Scores of basic house
plans are nowavailable and the appearance
of each of these can be varied by changes
in corner quoins, the trim, the type of
doors and windows, the shutters and in
numerous other ways. One can have an at-
tached garage, a detached garage or no
garage. Inside these houses alternative lo-
cations for closets, kitchen appliances, etc.
afford further variety. Communities al-
ready exist which are made up entirely of
houses produced by a single prefabricator
without the drab monotony of standard-
ization. Having said all this, the fact re-
mains that most types of prefabrication do
not afford the individuality or variety
available in tailor-made houses. Those who
want to plan their homes exactly as they
choose, without regard for basic plans or
existing designs, and are able to afford the
extra expense such individual planning en-
tails, will probably continue to look to the
traditional building trade for their homes
in the future.
Merchandising — The Final Hurdle
It has been noted that one of the problems
which confronted the prefabrication in-
dustry in the 1930's was that of distribut-
ing and erecting the houses which it pro-
duced. Most of the other problems of that
era — engineering, designing and factory
production— have now been resolved, but
the problem of merchandising remains a
serious one. Houses are the largest com-
modity for which mass distribution has
been attempted. They cannot be sold over
the counter as can mass produced foods,
clothing and household articles, nor driven
away from the factory like an automobile
A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses
or truck. Before they are ready for use the
site must be prepared, foundations laid,
the houses erected and the utilities in-
stalled and connected. Thus more is re-
quired for adequate merchandising of
houses than for other products. Prefabri-
cators are attempting to meet this need by
a variety of distribution methods.
L Direct to Customer. The pre-cut type
house, which presents only a rudimentary
form of prefabrication, has always been
sold by mail, and the companies employ-
ing this method will, for the most part,
continue to sell in this manner. Prefabri-
cators using other construction methods
are al$o selling direct to the consumer by
means of mail order, salesmen or factory
showrooms where the area served is small
and erection can be accomplished by build-
ing crews going out from the factory.
II. Real Estate Developments. Some
prefabricators confine their selling to build-
ers of real estate developments in which a
single entrepreneur acquires the land, sub-
divides it, purchases and erects the houses
and then sells each separate house and lot.
III. Department Store Agencies. Per-
haps the most widely publicized distribu-
tors of mass produced houses have been
some of the large city department stores.
A few of these stores have undertaken to
assist the buyer in selecting a suitable site
for his home, assume the responsibility for
erecting the house and arrange the financ-
ing. More often, however, these stores
menely display the houses so that a pro-
spective buyer may examine the materials
and construction methods and observe the
appearance and arrangement of the houses
when set up and furnished.
IV. Local Representatives. The major-
ity of prefabricators are attempting to ob-
tain local sales and service organizations
similar to those employed by the automo-
bile industry. At present local representa-
tives may consist of a local builder or lum-
ber dealer, but the ultimate goal is full-
time agencies which would provide the
services of an architect, a real estate ad-
visor, a builder and landscaping and deco-
Prefabricators and Their Houses
Having considered the prefabrication in-
dustry as a whole— its origins and history,
the diverse types of construction of which
it is composed, the advantages it offers and
the problems confronting it — one must
turn to the prefabricators who make up
this industry and the houses they produce.
The remainder of this book is devoted to
an appraisal of the homes manufactured
by some twenty-one leading prefabricators.
More than a hundred pictures and floor
plans of representative houses are shown
and an analysis is made of the prices, meth-
ods of distribution and the materials and
furnishings employed by each company.
PREFABRICATORS AND THEIR HOUSES
Rodney McCay Morgan
\ AMERICAN HOUSES, INC.
570 Lexington Avenue
New York 22, New York
Rodney McCay Morgan
Above: Full two story home with combina-
tion brick veneer and bevel siding exterior
constructed at Portsmouth, Virginia.
Below: Attractive story and a half house
with breezeway porch and garage which is
well suited to its sloping site at Darien,
Rodney McCay Morgan
Rodney McCay Morgan
Above: Cape Cod type home with com-
bination siding and shingle side wall, dor-
mer windows, and attached garage built at
Below: Gently sloping roofs and large
porch give this home at Macon, Georgia,
traditional southern atmosphere.
Rodney McCay Morgan
Facts and Figures About American Houses
AMERICAN HOUSES, INC., was organized
. in 1932 by architect Robert W. McLaughlin.
Its first houses, which were of steel panel con-
struction and modern in design, were not readily
accepted by the buying public and in 1936 the
company changed to traditional designs and wood
construction. Since that time the company has
rapidly expanded its business, and, by the acquisi-
tion of new plants and affiliation with other com-
panies, has created a nationwide organization.
Unique Method of Operation
The men who direct the affairs of American
Houses, Inc. view prefabrication in a somewhat
different light than many in the industry. They
feel that the proper function of prefabrication is
to serve as a kind of ''refining operation" between
the suppliers of the raw materials and the con-
tractor at the site. This new link in the chain of
construction assembles the multitude of raw mate-
rials which go into the construction of a house;
performs certain cutting, fitting, and assembling
operations which can be done more economically
in a plant than at the site; and then passes the
processed materials on to the contractor. In this
manner the opposition of the traditional construc-
tion industry is in large measure avoided, since the
prefabricator serves the building contractor rather
than competes with him.
You Deal With a Local Builder
Since American Houses sells its product only
through contractors, you will be working at all
times with a builder in your own community. Local
facilities are used, and local architects, carpenters,
plumbers, electricians, and others are employed
just as in conventional construction. You obtain
the machine accuracy and speed of construction
with respect to the basic parts of your house which
prefabrication affords together with the flexibility
of exterior wall surfaces, roofing material, architec-
tural detail, colors, composition, and arrangement
provided by the local contractor who is in full
charge of these matters.
American Houses can advise you whether there
is a contractor in your area who is constructing
homes with its materials.
Number of Models
American Houses offers no set number of house
designs. Its own architects working alone or in
collaboration with architects employed for various
projects have designed scores of houses from which
to select. These homes are one, one and a half,
and two story models in both single and multiple
family units. Furthermore, an architect can be em-
ployed to draw up new and different plans, com-
bining the 4 feet by 8 feet prefabricated modular
sections in any manner desired. Thus whole com-
munities have been constructed of houses prefab-
ricated by American without any evidence of
Labor and Materials Furnished
by Amencan Houses
The company supplies all the carpentry mate-
rials, cut with factory precision and fabricated into
panels to form the superstructure of your home.
Wall panels are 4 feet by 8 feet with plywood
sheathing over 2 by 4 framing. Insulation is in-
stalled in these panels at the factory, but lath
and plaster or wallboarding is supplied in stand-
ard form to be applied at the site in the conven-
tional manner. Floor panels measure 4 feet by
half the width of the house. The joist sizes are
determined by the length of this span. Subflooring
of Vs inch plywood is factory applied, but finish
oak flooring and floor insulation are sent along to
be applied when the house is erected. Roof rafters,
sheathing, and ceiling joists are pre-cut to exact
size and shape for quick and accurate assembly at
the site. Doors are factory fitted complete with
solid brass hardware, hung in jambs and installed as
units, primed and ready for erection as a section.
Interior doors are of the two panel design; ex
terior doors may be either the six panel Colonial
style or one panel with nine small window lights.
Windows are factory fitted complete with brass
hardware and balances installed, hung in panels
ready for erection as a wall unit.
In addition to these pre-cut or pre-assembled
structural items, American supplies your contractor
with exterior siding to be applied after the super-
structure is raised, asphalt or slate roof shingles,
interior finish of dry wall or lath and plaster, pre-
finished oak floors, linoleum for kitchen and bath,
and all standard interior and exterior trim. The
company supplies such equipment as kitchen sink
and cabinets, medicine cabinets, and other bath-
room accessories, a Coleman hot water heater, and
a Coleman forced -air or gravity warm air furnace,
either gas or oil fired.
With these various materials, American supplies
all working blueprints necessary for erection, with
the exception of those for the plumbing. The con-
tractor receives the assistance of company engi-
neers and architects through each phase of plan-
ning a job.
Since the homes are usually specially designed
for each particular project, the prices vary accord-
ing to the size and design. The price range today
conforms to current popular levels, and ranges
from $3,500 to $20,000.
ANCHORAGE HOMES, INC
The "Brewster" is a compactly planned house, which, despite its small
overall dimensions, provides four cross-ventilated bedrooms. The side
porch, opening off of the living room, gives addition^ width to the house
and relieves its square appearance. A basement provides space for heating
and laundry equipment and for storage purposes.
FIRST FLOOR PLAN
The "Hyannis" provides three bedrooms, a living room, dining room,
kitchen, and bath, all on one floor. A utility room, containing the winter
air conditioning unit and the hot water heater, makes a basement un-
necessary for this purpose. The addition of a breezeway porch and a one-
car garage to the basic plan, which is already quite wide, gives an overall
appearance reminiscent of the old-time rambling house.
Facts and Figures About Anchorage Homes
ANCHORAGE HOMES, INC., of Westfield,
- Massachusetts, has combined the traditions
of early Colonial American design with modern
factory production in the variety of homes which
it produces. This company is an outgrowth and
expansion of the Holt-Fairchild Co., which has,
in recent years, prefabricated and constructed sev-
eral entire communities in the New England area.
Anchorage has acquired all the patents, machinery,
and equipment of Holt-Fairchild, and through the
public sale of stock has financed the construction
of a large modern factory at Westfield.
Anchorage offers one of the largest assortment
of houses available from any prefabricator. You
may choose from some forty-eight designs ranging
from the "Manomet" with one bedroom, living
room, dining alcove, kitchen, and bath to the
"Orleans" with four bedrooms (two upstairs and
two down), two baths, living room, library, full
dining room, kitchen, breezeway porch, garage,
and basement. Although these homes are modern
with respect to equipment and livability, their
exteriors are all of the traditional Cape Cod Colo-
nial design and appearance which has long been
typical of the New England countryside.
Wall panels are of full room size, and are assem-
bled by a special method of coupling which gives
no evidence either on the exterior or interior wall
of the panel type of construction. The interior
wall and ceiling surfaces are made of five-ply lam-
inated Kraft Boards which are attached to the
frame at the plant. Perfection cedar shingles in
Colonial white are installed over the entire exterior
surface of the wall panels, except for the joints
between panels which are shingled at the site.
All doors and windows are hung and installed in
the respective wall panels -completely trimmed,
glazed, and weatherstripped - before ieaving the
factory. The floor panels are finished with fine
oak flooring in all rooms except kitchen and bath
where linoleum is laid.
Other Materials Supplied
In addition to the basic shell of the house,
Anchorage supplies most of the equipment and
fixtures you will need in a home. The kitchen is
equipped with two large cabinets, a built-in sink
and draining tray and a gas or electric range as
you choose. The bathroom comes fully equipped
with a built-in tub and shower, wall lavatory, and
a flush toilet. A twenty gallon hot water heater,
operated either by gas or by electricity is located
in the basement or the first floor utility room. An
oil burning, thermostatic controlled warm air
heater circulates filtered and humidified air to all
rooms. The oil tank for this heater is buried under
the back lawn. All the rooms of each house are
equipped with floor plugs for indirect lighting
with the exception of the dining room, kitchen,
bath, and utility rooms where overhead lights are
provided. A Colonial lantern is supplied for the
For the house roof Anchorage furnishes fire-
resistant 210 pound asphalt slate shingles in red,
green, or black. All windows come with shutters
in matching colors. All windows and doors are
supplied with screens and the windows with
shades. The front entrance has a i 3 /4 inch thick,
six panel Colonial door with ornamental frame.
The kitchen door has glass above a single bottom
panel. The exterior doors are furnished with cyl-
inder locks with master keys, brass knobs, and
three hinges. Interior doors are furnished with
tubular latches, black knobs, and two hinges.
Kitchen cabinet hardware is of chromium.
Distribution and Erection
Anchorage plans to serve the nine northeastern
states within a 250 mile radius of Westfield.
Within this area it is organizing a chain of dealers
who will represent the company in selling, erect-
ing, and servicing its homes. Most of these repre-
sentatives are selected because of their previous'
connection with the building or real estate busi-
ness and they receive special training from An-
chorage, so that they are in a position to be of
considerable assistance to you in dealing with the
problems of home building. As soon as your order
for an Anchorage house is sent to the factory by
the dealer, his crews begin the excavation for the
basement or foundation called for by the house
plan. Meantime at the factory all the necessary
panels, materials, equipment, and fixtures are as-
sembled, and as soon as the dealer has advised that
the foundation is complete, the entire "package"
is sent out by truck trailer from the factory to the
site. Within a day or two the dealer's crew has
completed the closure. Another week is required
to install the plumbing, wiring and heating systems
and give the entire house a final coat of paint.
Because of the uncertainties in the present-day
lumber and materials market, firm prices have
not yet been established on Anchorage homes,
but the projected price range is between $3,600
for the lowest price house to $7,600 for the most
expensive home. This is the price of the completed
home with utilities and fixtures installed.
FORD FACTORY-BUILT HOMES
FACTORY BUILT HOMES, INC.
McDonough, New York
This two bedroom home, located at Sidney, New York, represents the
smallest home designed and produced by. the Factory Built Company.
Windows can be added in the gable ends in order to make possible the
addition of extra bedrooms in the attic. It will be noted that the kitchen
and bath are located adjacent to each other, an important factor in re-
ducing the cost of plumbing installation.
This three bedroom house, located at Palatka, Florida, departs from the
more conventional square or rectangular shaped house, having a project-
ing wing and front gable to give it added attractiveness. The wide archway
between the living room and dining room provides a greater feeling of
spaciousness without detracting from the individuality of either room.
The breezeway and garage, which have been added to the basic house, can
be made a part of most Ford homes.
K I TC HEN
9-4" x iz'-o"
Dining Roo/a Living Roca\
10-8"XI2'-Cf I2'-0"X 16'0"
13-4" X 1 5-4"
Facts and Figures About Ford Factory-Built Homes
THE Ford Factory-Built system of prefabrica-
tion had its inception in 1935, when Ivon R.
Ford, the head of a New York lumber company,
developed his own system of factory fabrication.
Houses constructed according to his system were
extensively tested at the College of Engineering
of Cornell University, and improvements in de-
sign and construction have been made from time
Number of Models
Twenty-four different models of Ford homes
are manufactured and offered for sale. Most of
these homes provide two bedrooms and are simi-
lar in their basic floor plan. Considerable varia-
tion in exterior appearance is achieved, however,
by the use of several different porches which can
be attached at the front or sides, breezeways, at-
tached or semiattached garages, shutters, window
boxes, and other architectural treatment. These
homes can be constructed with or without a base-
ment as you may desire.
Materials and Construction
The panel system of prefabrication is employed
throughout in the construction of Ford homes.
Wall panels consist of hemlock, pine, or fir fram-
ing to which heavy plywood sheathing and wall-
board are both glued and nailed. Cotton blanket
insulation and the electrical wiring system are
built into the panels and the interior trim is en-
tirely installed. Window and door frames together
with the double hung windows and finished doors
are also built into the panels at the factory.
Thus the walls are completely finished at the
plant except that the exterior siding is applied
after the house is erected at the site. In this way
there is no sign of the joints where the panels come
together. The roof panels are similarly completed
save for the application of asphalt shingles after the
panels have been erected. The floor is built in sec-
tions up to 8 feet wide and 24 feet long, and the
prefinished hardwood flooring is nailed in place,
sanded and finished at the factory so that nothing
needs to be done to the floor after installation
except to give it a final coat of wax.
The company ordinarily supplies such items as
window and door screens and window blinds. The
wiring (Romex) is supplied and built into the
wall units. Bathroom fixtures such as bathtub,
toilet, lavatory and medicine cabinet are also fur-
Although Ford's company continues to manufac-
ture homes at its McDonough, N. Y. plant, its
primary function is to conduct further experi-
mentation in the field of prefabrication in an effort
to secure better materials and equipment and to
improve the methods of construction. It has
licensed several other companies to carry on the
bulk of the manufacture and distribution of homes
produced by the Ford system. There are at pres-
ent nine different plants licensed to manufacture
and sell these houses. These companies are:
Hilz Homes Co., 801 Railroad Street,
L, H. Riedel Lumber Co., Marlette, Michigan
Barden & Robeson Corp., Middleport, New York
J. W. Campbell, Inc., Palatka, Florida
R. C. Bennett Box Co., Clinton, Iowa
Lincoln Lumber Co., 2201 East 14th Street,
Home Builders Corp., Atlanta, Georgia
Preco Corp., P.O. Box 657,
Hudson Supply & Equipment Corp.,
1727 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Washington 6, D. C.
Each licensee operates his business as an indepen-
dent unit and establishes his own prices according
to local labor, material and transportation costs.
For the most part these licensees confine their
sales to an area within a 100 mile radius of their
plant, and deliver the materials to the site by
Each licensee appoints within the area it serves
a series of dealers who sell the homes and under-
take the responsibility of the excavating for base-
ment or foundation and erecting the house. Since
the company does not furnish such items as paint,
varnish, wallpaper, refrigerator or range, the local
dealer is responsible for the purchase and applica-
tion or installation of these items. Under normal
conditions a house can be completed, transported,
and erected within a month after the order is ex-
ecuted, but under present conditions of extended
demand and material shortages, the company and
its licensees are running several weeks behind nor-
mal schedules. If you live within 100 miles of any
of the above named licensees, you can correspond
directly with the company in your area concerning
the purchase of a Ford home.
Ford homes range in price from $5,000 to
$8,500" completely erected and ready for occu-
pancy. These prices do not include a fireplace,
however, and if you want one in your Ford house,
from $200 to $300 must be added.
GENERAL HOUSES, INC.
Chicago Daily News Building
Chicago 4, Illinois
Above: A large steel panel house with
combination hipped and flat roof, con-
structed at Detroit, Michigan, in 1936.
Below; An attractive modern home
which is well suited to its sloping site at
Ft. Wayne, Ind. Constructed in 1936.
Above: Home prefabricated for Miss
Ruth Page, noted dancer, in 1932 and
erected on a high lake bluff in Win-
Below: One of the 238 houses in the
"Fairway Project" near Washington,
D. C, constructed in 1942,
Rodney McCay Morgan
Facts and Figures About General Houses
FOUNDED in 1929, General Houses has ex-
perienced, during the past two decades, much of
the metamorphosis and the growing pains com-
mon to the prefabrication industry as a whole. Its
earlier years were devoted to research and develop-
mental work, and it was not until 1932 that its
first houses were offered for sale. The initial prod-
uct consisted of frameless interchangeable steel
panel homes of "modern" design. Exhibit houses
were displayed at the Century of Progress Exposi-
tion in 1933 and 1934, and a substantial number
of houses were sold throughout the United States
and a limited number were shipped abroad. The
experiences of this earlier period indicated, how-
ever, that the use of modern design and materials
not normally employed in house construction
made it difficult to obtain satisfactory mortgage
loans, a prime requisite in the sale of most homes.
General Houses accordingly undertook intensive
development work to perfect various construction
methods employing wood as the basic element,
and also providing a sloping roof of conventional
architectural appearance. In the war emergency
the company was called upon to build five large
housing projects, four in the East and one in Cali-
Number of Models
General Houses offers some 30 different models
of houses of both steel and wood construction. It
is currently featuring a four room house of tradi-
tional Cape Cod design which employs wood
framed panels and measures 32'-9" by 25' in its
overall dimensions. This basic plan provides a large
12' x 20' living room, two good-sized bedrooms,
bath, utility room, or basement, and efficient
kitchen. The house is planned for the addition of
two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor,
either at the time of erection or at a later date
should the owner desire. Various exterior treat-
ments can be used, and prefabricated porches,
breezeways, and garages can be added, making pos-
sible a great variety in appearance.
Materials and Construction
GH homes are constructed of panels which are
highly standardized and made interchangeable
to the maximum extent possible. Exterior wood
framed panels are complete with prefinished full
¥4 inch thick, solid wood V-jointed tongue and
groove vertical exterior finish, building paper,
blanket insulation, aluminum foil insulation and
vapor seal, and prefinished gypsum board interior
finish. Framing members are standard 2" x 4" size
on 16 inch centers, with all joints mortised and
members let in. Gasketed exterior joints are held
by special splines of steel. Floor panels come com-
plete with joists, building paper, 2 inch thick
blanket insulation, vapor seal paper, and quality
prefinished oak flooring. Ceiling panels are com-
plete with prefinished gypsum board, aluminum
foil insulation and vapor seal, 2 inch thick blanket
insulation, and building paper. All joints are mor-
tised and panel edges are joined and securely held
together by steel splines. The ceiling panels in all
houses are designed to take full loads for second-
story rooms. Roof panels are constructed of 2" x 6"
rafters covered with a finished surface ready for
the application of asphalt shingles or any alternate
standard roofing. Windows are double hung,
glazed, weatherstripped, and complete with
screens; doors are the flush panel type, ready hung,
and complete with hardware.
Panels for steel homes of the type illustrated on
the preceding pages are of 14 gauge, rust-resisting,
copper-bearing steel with interior surfaces of celo-
tex or sheet rock. From 2 to 3^2 inches of insulat-
ing material is interposed between the outer and
the inner wall finishes. Floors are constructed of
either wood or steel subflooring on steel joists with
ordinary hardwood finish flooring; roofs are wood
or steel sheathing on steel rafters covered with
built-up roofing material.
During the company's earlier history its dealers
were largely chosen from outside the home build-
ing field in the belief that with a new product of
this type a more successful job of retail merchan-
dising could be accomplished. This method of dis-
tribution proved inadequate, however, and many
of the early difficulties resulted from the lack of
practical home building knowledge and experience
on the part of the dealers selected. Consequently,
General Houses today offers its prefabricated
houses to the public through lumber and material
dealers exclusively. The company has established
a large and entrenched dealer organization of 238
franchised outlets, largely concentrated in the
heavily populated eastern and Great Lakes states.
The dealer prepares the site, provides the founda-
tion (with or without basement as the buyer pre-
fers), erects the house, installs the utilities, and
completes the interior and exterior decoration.
The dealer buys the house parts and panels at
established dealer prices, and determines his own
retail price in view of local costs and conditions.
Prices are geared to the low and medium price
fields, however, and range between $5,000 for the
basic two bedroom house design with simple ex-
terior to about $10,000 for the four bedroom, two
GREEN'S LAUREL HOMES
GREEN LUMBER COMPANY
This small house, measuring only 32 feet by 24 feet, is lifted out of the
commonplace class by the attractive bay window, the latticed entryway,
and the thoughtfully designed floor plan. Here is a small house, for a
change, with abundant closet and storage space— four ordinary closets and
two storage closets, each about 5 feet square. A small entry vestibule,
which prevents the incidental caller from trekking into your living room,
is another valuable feature often omitted in the less expensive homes.
Here is a three bedroom house that can
be placed on a narrow 40 foot lot. The
overall width of the house is only 24 feet,
although it has a floor area of almost a
thousand square feet. It is so oriented on
the lot that the large living porch and liv-
ing room windows face the rear where
privacy is obtained. As in all Green homes,
a great deal of storage space is provided on
the ground floor. Large double windows
provide abundant light and ventilation in
Facts and Figures About Laurel Homes
THE GREEN LUMBER CO. has been en-
gaged in the prefabricated business since 1934
when it began the production of CCC camps and
similar structures. During the war it entered into
the emergency housing program and produced sev-
eral thousand dwelling units. With the end of
hostilities it converted its plant over to the produc-
tion of the larger and more attractive peacetime
Number of Models Offered
Green produces seven different homes ranging
from the smallest, measuring 32 feet by 24 feet
and providing living room, dining alcove, kitchen,
bath, two bedrooms, and five closets including
two large storage closets, to the largest, measuring
52 feet by 24 feet and providing three bedrooms,
bath, living room and living porch, a full-sized
dining room, kitchen, rear porch, laundry and
storage room, and six closets. All of these are
single story houses, but company architects are
busy drawing up plans for a line of story and a
half homes in the Cape Cod tradition. All Green
homes can be obtained with or without a basement
as you prefer. It will be noted that some of these
homes are especially designed to be placed length-
wise on a narrow lot, and that many have large,
pleasant, screened porches so typical of the South'
Method and Area of Distribution
Because of the shortages of seasoned lumber,
plywood, nails and many other essential raw ma-
terials, production of Laurel Homes is greatly •
below Green's plant capacity. As a result sales are
being confined at present to the states within the
immediate area of the Mississippi factory. When
production can be increased to desired levels, the
company plans to sell its homes throughout the
Sales are made through local dealers and real
estate developers. Thus, all of your negotiations
in the purchase of a Laurel Home are with some-
one in your own community. This representative
will help you decide upon the house which is best
suited to your family needs, the size and contour
of your lot, and your financial means. You will
arrange with the* dealer as to the style of interior
decoration, the color of roof shingles and exterior
paint, the type of heating equipment, and the
choice of plumbing and lighting fixtures.
Under ordinary conditions the Green Company
can make delivery of a house within 30 to 60 days
after receipt of an order. Under present conditions
the company is forced to reject a large proportion
of incoming orders, so that it can continue to
make prompt delivery on those orders which are
accepted. Shipment is made either by truck or rail
depending upon the distance involved.
How Laurel Homes Are Constructed
Walls are of panel construction based on a 4'
module. The framing consists of 2x4 studs placed
16 inches on center as in traditional building. The
frame for each panel is covered on the exterior
with a heavy plywood sheathing. The interior
side of the frame is covered with a high grade,
highly finished plywood, which may be stained
and varnished, painted, or papered. Insulation is
installed in the wall panels at the factory. Interior
partitions differ from outer walls only in that in-
sulation is omitted and the more highly finished in-
terior plywood is applied to both sides of the par-
Floors consist of regular wood joists covered with
plywood subflooring. Over the subflooring a high
grade of hardwood flooring is laid at the factory.
This flooring must be finished, sanded and pol-
ished at the site after the house is erected. Linole-
um is furnished for bathroom and kitchen.
Roof and ceiling panels are made of factory cut
rafters and joists to which plywood sheets have
been securely attached. The plywood used for the
ceiling is of the same finished grade employed on
interior walls. A heavier sheathing plywood is used
for the roof panels, and 210 lb. asphalt shingles
(in a variety of colors) are supplied by the com-
pany to be applied at the place of building.
Doors are supplied in a variety of stock designs.
Windows are either four pane or sixteen pane
double hung. Window and door screens are fur-
nished by the company.
Function of the Dealer-Builder
After the order for a house is placed, but prior
to the time of delivery, the local dealer must ex-
cavate the site and construct the basement or
foundation with his own crews or by subcontrac-
tors employed for that purpose. When the house
arrives his crew must erect the house (approxi-
mately 200 man hours being required for this
purpose), apply the bevel siding and the roof
shingles on the exterior and the trim and decora-
ting on the interior, furnish and install the plumb-
ing, heating, and electrical systems and fixtures,
paint the house and perhaps take care of some of
the landscaping. About a week is required for
erection and probably two or three additional
weeks for the installation of the utilities.
Green houses range in price from $5,000 for the
two bedroom size to $8,500 for the largest size.
GREEN'S SOLAR HOMES
GREEN'S READY-BUILT HOMES
1221 Eighteenth Avenue
Above: The broad, uninterrupted view on the southward-facing side gives
a feeling of roominess to the Solar house. Illuminating engineers explain
that this thing called ' glare" comes not so much from an extensive light
as from a too-sharp contrast between dark and light, such as the bright
patches of window area in a completely shaded room.
Below: Floor plan of house shown on these pages, one of
many Solar Homes to be offered to the public by the Green
Company. Dotted lines indicate position of folding parti-
tions which may be used to create as many as three bed-
rooms in this home.
Above: Built-in wardrobe and drawers to accommodate practically every
household item. Three units shown here in bedroom of Solar Home.
More can be added as desired.
Below: Kitchen is completely equipped with refrigerator, range,
sink, washer and cabinets. Also contains ample space for a breakfast
table and chairs.
Facts and Figures About Green's Ready-Built Homes
The Solar House
"pvESPITE the ancient admonition to those who
LJ live in glass houses, there is a decided tend-
ency to employ ever larger areas of glass in today's
homes. These large stretches of uninterrupted
windows provide a broader vista of the out-of-
doors, more abundant indoor daylight, and a feel-
ing of spaciousness and depth in the rooms them-
selves. Furthermore, if the large window areas are
placed on the south side of the house, the warm
rays of the sun can be harnessed to heat the house
on winter days. Until recently this principle of
solar heating was embodied in only a few of the
more expensive houses built by those who could
afford this innovation. Then Green's Ready-Built
Homes, a prefabricator of traditional style houses
since the late 1930's, decided to make the solar
type home available to all on a prefabricated basis.
They employed architect George Fred Keck, a
pioneer in this field, to design a flexible system for
constructing solar houses in a variety of floor plans
suitable for different sites, needs, and purses.
Number of Models
Green's now offer fourteen different models,
ranging from a small one bedroom home to a four
bedroom house with two baths, a large living room,
dining room, kitchen, utility room/ storage room
and attached two-car garage. These homes provide
an unusual variety both in floor plans and exterior
appearance. Their flexibility as to size and shape
make them adaptable to contour, size and pano-
rama of almost any plot.
Water on the Roof
In order to help keep the house cool and pleas-
ant during hot weather, the flat roof is prepared so
that a thin sheet of water can be kept on it during
summer months. Tests have shown that a water-
film roof will make a house about io° cooler in-
side by evaporation and reflecting the sun's rays.
An automatic valve keeps the water at the proper
Radiant Panel Heating
Although the sun provides a substantial source
of heat for the Solar house, it merely augments
the special heating unit, located in the utility
room, which forces warm air to circulate through
the ducts in the floor tile. This radiant type of
heating, although not yet widely used, promises
to become more and more popular with future
home owners. It eliminates unsightly radiators or
registers by converting the floor into one contin-
uous radiator. Since there is so large a radiating sur-
* face, temperatures do not need to be high. The
heat rises evenly from the whole floor without
noise or draft.
Special attention has been given to the ventila
tion of the Solar house. Since the large Thermo-
pane windows are securely sealed into place in the
framework of the house and cannot be opened,
screened louvers have been provided in every room.
These louvers can be left open during storms with-
out danger of the rain beating in. An Ilgo electric
ventilator is provided in the kitchen.
Construction and Distribution
Green houses are built according to the panel
type of prefabrication. The wall panels are faced
with l A inch plywood on the inside and Vs inch
plywood on the outside, with Balsam Wool insula-
tion built in. The roof is also formed into sections,
with the underside, which forms the ceiling, cov-
ered with acoustical ceiling tile. The upper or roof
side is covered with heavy plywood, to which the
roofing material is then attached. All doors are 2 '8"
by 6' 8" in size, and are completely installed at the
These homes are distributed exclusively through
dealers located within a 300 miles radius of Rock-
ford, Illinois. The various prefabricated parts and
equipment are shipped by truck from the factory
to the local dealer, who is responsible for erec-
tion, installation of fixtures and equipment, and
Green's supply all the equipment necessary for
the operation of the Solar house. The bathroom
is furnished with a full complement of fixtures-
bathtub, toilet and lavatory— produced by Crane.
The kitchen is supplied with metal cabinets by
St. Charles Mfg. Co., a General Electric garbage
disposal unit and refrigerator and a Roper gas
range. In the utility room you will find an auto-
matically fueled furnace by International Oil
Burner Co., a hot water heater by Crane, a Servi-
Soft water softener, a Bendix automatic washer
and a clothes dryer produced by Chicago Dryer
Co. The house is completely wired with outlets
in every room and overhead fixtures in the kitchen
and utility room.
The prices of Solar Homes vary according to
the size and style purchased. The house shown on
the preceding pages will sell for about $7,500 with
all equipment furnished and ready for occupancy,
GUNNISON HOMES, INC.
New Albany, Indiana
The home shown above is the smallest Gunnison house, measuring 28
feet by 24 feet in size. It features a basement, screened arched porch,
window boxes* pilasters and plaques and long shutters as optional items.
If no basement is desired, a utility room is located on the main floor in
place of a basement stairway.
left-hand plan right-hand plan
This Size 5 home is equipped with fireplace, arcade, garage, long shutters,
entrance hood, scrolls, iron rail, window boxes and a picket fence. The
dotted lines shown in the utility room of the house plan indicate position
of stairs if a basement is used, in which case the utility room wall may be
shifted to enlarge the kitchen or bedroom #3 by 4 feet. Gunnison plans
to change the design and optional features of its homes from time to time,
just as the automobile companies change models, in order to incorporate
new improvements and to vary the appearance of its homes.
11-10 x 12-2
L 6 J O
LIVING ROOM P'NJNG
n'-io*xi7'-9" f LC °VE „
1 '''^TT^t" 1 BEDROOM I
11 '-10*x 12'-2"
?. N r ^ LIVING ROOM
ll'-lO x 9'-10
^ lf-10% 13'-lT
Facts and Figures About Gunnison Homes
GUNNISON HOMES, INC., is one of the
pioneers of the panel type of prefabrication.
The company was organized in 1935 and has now-
engineered its plant so that a new house is rolling
off the assembly line every 25 minutes. The com-
pany proved successful not only in its production
methods but also in its plan of merchandising,
and in 1944 U. S. Steel Corp. bought a majority
interest in the concern. Plans are now afoot to set
up other plants throughout the country and to
organize sales on a nationwide basis.
At the present time Gunnison offers eight basic
house plans, from the small size, measuring 28 feet
by 24 feet and providing a living room, kitchen,
bath, utility room and two bedrooms, to the large
size 52 by 24 feet and having a 32 foot long living-
dining room, kitchen, utility room, four bedrooms
and two baths. Each of these eight basic houses
is available in either a right or a left hand plan,
so that you may have your living room on which-
ever side of the lot you choose. In order to give
variety to the appearances of its homes, Gunnison
offers a wide selection of architectural treatment.
For example, you may have shutters, window
boxes, entrance hoods, wall or corner quoins,
pilasters and plaques, or wrought iron entrance
railing to add to the attractiveness of the exterior
of your Gunnison home. As optional features at
an additional price you can get a basement, fire-
places, wings, porches, arcades and garages,
Gunnison has set up a network of dealer or-
ganizations, patterned after the dealerships of the
auto industry. Most of these dealers are located
in the middle west, but there are some in other
parts of the country. You can ascertain- whether
there is a representative in your community either
by consulting the telephone directory or by mail-
ing a postcard to the company's main office.
These Gunnison dealers have been specially
trained by the company and can be of consider-
able assistance to you in determining many of the
problems of home building. If you do not already
own a lot, the dealer will assist you with the pur-
chase of a suitable one. If you are not in a posi-
tion to pay cash for the house, he will assist in
the preparation of the application for a F.H.A.
loan. As soon as the financing has been completed
the dealer will begin the foundations for your
new Gunnison Home. In about two or three
weeks' time, he will present you with the keys to
vour new home, everything completed from foun-
dation up, with wiring, plumbing, bathroom,
kitchen and heating equipment installed and even
sidewalks, drives and landscaping completed.
How Gunnison Houses Are Made
The materials which go to make up the panels
for a Gunnison home begin their course down
the assembly line as raw lumber and thin veneer.
The lumber passes through high speed saws to
be converted into sturdy frames for walls, roof,
ceiling or floor panels. These frames receive in-
sulation and a vapor barrier against dampness, and
then are carried along the conveyor belts to huge
hot presses where several layers of hardwood ve-
neer are welded permanently and securely to the
frame with the newest phenolic resin. Each panel
is a veritable box girder attaining a strength which
is greater for its weight than steel. The panels are
trimmed, sanded, painted on the exterior surface,
and lacquered and polished on the inner wall.
Windows and screens, doors and hardware are
then installed to make the panels complete. A
light, honey-toned fir paneling is used on all in-
terior walls and the floors are of grained quarter
oak. The kitchen, bathroom, and utility room are
finished in white and may be tinted in any color
The utility systems are all completely installed
and connected by Gunnison's dealer-crews be-
fore the house is turned over to you. In the kitch-
en two large wall cabinets and a 12 foot sink
cabinet with cupboards and drawers are supplied.
The company also furnishes an electric range and
a seven cubic foot refrigerator. The bathrooms
have modern type built-in tubs, toilet, and lava-
tory. A medicine cabinet, 2 soap dishes, 2 towel
rods, and certain other minor equipment are also
included. Fluorescent tubular lights flank the med-
icine cabinet mirror. Either linoleum or a special
waterproof floor finish is applied on kitchen and
bathroom floors. A forced air heating unit is sup-
plied in the appropriate size for each home. There
are overhead lights in the bathroom, kitchen, and
utility rooms, but in all other rooms such fixtures
have been eliminated in favor of numerous floor
plugs for indirect lighting.
Gunnison Homes sell from $6,000 for the small-
est size to $10,000 for the largest size on a com-
pletely erected and equipped basis.
Port Washington, Wisconsin
ch of the four Harnischfeger Homes shown have the same basic
3r plan, but are varied by the application of different exterior wall
face materials and individual architectural treatment. The basic
sign offers a well-planned, compact interior arrangement, with
od-sized ? well-lighted rooms, and convenient closet space. Plans
wide for a full basement and attic space for storage or for extra
Facts and figures About Harnischfeger Homes
THE HARNISCHFEGER CORP. is an old
and established company in an industry quite
unrelated to the housing field, having manufac-
tured and sold such industrial equipment as over-
head cranes, electric hoists, arc welding equip-
ment, motors and excavators for more than a half
century. During the depth of the depression, the
company organized a staff of engineers to consider
methods for the factory construction of low cost
housing employing some of the cranes, hoists,
welders, and other equipment which they pro-
duced and had readily available. In 1935 the
Houses Division was organized with architects,
housing experts and engineers on the staff. Since
that time several thousand housing units have
been produced. Some of these have been perma-
nent, privately owned homes, while others have
been of the temporary, wartime variety.
Number of Models
Harnischfeger produces only two basic models,
with six variations as to exterior design and archi-
tectural treatment. The WH series, illustrated on
the preceding pages, offers four exteriors based on
a basic plan which is 34' 3" by 24' 3" in overall di-
mensions and provides a living room, kitchen, two
bedrooms, and a bathroom. The PW series is
smaller in size, measuring 2 6' 3" by 3o'9", pro-
vides a dining alcove off of the living room and
features large window areas for abundant light and
fresh air. Because of the shortage of materials, the
PW series is not presently available.
Method of Distribution
Harnischfeger sells its houses only to well-estab-
lished development builders or realtors who have
been active in land development, financing, con-
struction, and sale of one-family homes. At the
present time the company limits its sales to an
area within a 300 mile radius of its Port Wash-
ington, Wisconsin plant. Deliveries are being
made to dealers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan
and Indiana and these local dealers develop the
land sites, arrange for financing, erect, sell and
service the homes. If you live in one of the four
states presently served by Harnischfeger, you can
ascertain the name of your local dealer by writing
directly to the company's office at Port Washing-
Material and Labor Supplied by the Factory
Harnischfeger supplies the dealer-builder with
about 65 per cent of the total labor and materials
necessary to complete the basic structure. For the
basement it supplies assembled cellar windows and
frames, together with screens and hardware. For
the floors it supplies joists, headers, trimmers,
bridging, and ¥s inch plywood subflooring. These
flooring materials are pre-cut to exact size, but
are not assembled into panels or sections. Factory
cut wood rafters and plywood sheathing are sup-
plied for the roof and pre-cut joists, headers, trim-
mers, and bridging for the ceiling are furnished
ready for assembly at the site. Prior to the war the
> company supplied welded steel frame sections for
floor and ceiling construction, but wartime short-
ages necessitated the substitution of pre-cut wood
framing. When steel is again available for these
uses, this type of construction will be resumed.
The exterior walls and the interior partitions
are made into assembled panels at the factory. The
framework of wall panels is securely bonded with
resin adhesives to heavy plywood sheathing on
the exterior and to sanded plywood ready for
decorating on the interior. A one-inch blanket of
insulation and a vapor seal is inclosed within the
panel. Glazed window sash, completely hung on
balances and weatherstripped at the head, sides,
and sill, are installed as a part of the panel. Parti-
tions differ only in that they are not insulated and
have sanded plywood on both sides ready for dec-
orating. A special panel connection is used between
units so that wallpaper or coated fabrics can be
employed without any sectional appearance on the
interior. Bevel siding, shingles, brick or stone
veneer are applied over the exterior walls at the
The company also supplies the basement and
attic stairs knocked down and ready for assembly,
kitchen cabinets assembled in sections, all inte-
rior and exterior doors pre-fitted with locks and
hinges, and all molding, trim, and hardware.
Along with this panel and pre-cut material,
Harnischfeger Corp. supplies its dealer-builders
with complete architectural and engineering serv-
ice. The builder receives complete erection draw-
ings for each home and the assistance of a com-
pany erection supervisor on the earlier jobs to as-
sure that his crew is properly trained in the best
methods of erection.
Since the dealer-builder must prepare the site,
build the foundation, furnish and install the
plumbing, heating, wiring and fixtures and pro-
vide the decorating, the price varies substantially
according to local labor costs, the type of exte-
rior treatment, and the fixtures included. The
price range in Wisconsin of the completed homes
with utilities installed and ready for occupancy has
varied between $6,100 and $8,400, exclusive of
the lot. In points more distant from the factory
the price would be somewhat greater because of
the increased transportation costs.
HATES ECONOCRETE HOMES
HAYES ECONOCRETE CORPORATION
112 West Ninth Street
Los Angeles 15, California
. One of the three sections of the roof being 6. Exterior view of the finished house at
lowered into position. Cerrito, California.
Interior view of living room. A more spacious effect and a sub-
stantial saving in cost are achieved through the use of the roof line
for the ceiling. When full mass production is achieved this house is
expected to sell for about $2,000 complete!
1 J- J" « 9' 6"
Facts and Figures About
THE HAYES ECONOCRETE CORP. has,
over a period of years, experimented with and
developed a new and unique building material. It
looks like concrete and has the strength of con-
crete, yet it weighs only a third as much, nails can
be driven into it, and it can be sawed and worked
with carpenters' tools. It has excellent insulating
qualities and can be made into a semiflexible form.
This unusual material is known as "Plastikair Com-
pound" and is produced by a patented formula by
which chemicals, when mixed with Portland ce-
ment and stone aggregate, cause the mixture to
expand to several times its original volume, give
it resiliency, and make it watertight.
Having developed a new material, the Hayes
Company worked out a technique for using it in
the prefabrication of attractive, durable homes.
How Econocrete Homes Are Built
The walls, roofs, partitions, and sometimes the
floors are molded in huge forms laid flat on the
ground at the factory of casting yard. After the
forms are carefully oiled, in order that the wall
may be more easily removed after it dries, door
and window frames and the conduits for wiring
and plumbing are laid in their proper position.
Bars of reinforced steel are crisscrossed at about
12 inch intervals for added strength. Then con-
crete mixers move into position and the special
building compound is poured into the forms to
a thickness of 2V2 inches. With three mixers an
eight room house can be poured in approximately
30 minutes. The panels are left to dry for two
days and are then removed from the forms and
stored in a file-like arrangement until they are
transported to the site.
The entire side of a house may be molded into
a single section. Where two or more panels are
used a special tongue and groove is molded into
the panels so that they fit into each other at the
joint. Corners also have special interlocking joints.
Roof panels are set flush with each other and are
made watertight by the use of an overlapping
metal joint. The top surface of each wall panel
is provided with threaded sleeves to receive bolts.
These bolts are employed initially as lifting points
in hoisting and later to hold the roof securely in
Transportation and Erection
The concrete sections are lifted aboard a truck
or trailer at the plant and off again at the site by
a portable crane. The foundation is prepared be-
fore the house is delivered, and may provide a
basement if the purchaser so desires. The floors,
of heavy, insulated compound, may be cast in
place as one large slab at the site or made in sec-
tions at the factory and transported to the site.
Hayes Econocrete Homes
Since the special material used has a greater resil-
iency than ordinary concrete, it is more comfort-
able for floors, but if the idea of having floors made
of this material is distasteful to you, hardwood or
linoleum may also be used.
Once the foundation and floors are in place, the
truck crane begins to lift the wall, partition and
roof panels off of the truck and into place. A mor-
tar or grout is placed between the foundation wall
and the exterior walls and between the walls and
the roof sections in order to weld these sections
together permanently. The corners where the
walls join are finished with a cement gun which
fills the open corners and imbeds the reinforced
steel rods that were left protruding from each of
the precast wall slabs.
Since erection is done for the most part by
mechanical means, it can be accomplished in a
very short time. In a test conducted in March 1945
for the benefit of Life Magazine photographers, a
two bedroom house was completely erected and
made ready for occupancy by a crew of thirteen
men in thirty-four minutes' time. This included
making all plumbing installations and gas, water
and electrical connections and moving in the furni-
ture. Needless to say, this operation was an excep-
tional one, but it demonstrates the speed which
can be attained by the Hayes method of construc-
Method of Distribution
The Hayes Company is exclusively an engineer-
ing and licensing organization, and not a construc-
tion and selling company. It licenses persons or
firms throughout the country to set up their own
plant and to manufacture and market the Hayes
Econocrete prefabricated homes within a desig-
nated territory. With the license goes the right to
use all the processes, methods, formulas, tech-
niques and the special lightweight concretes and
compounds. The individual licensees draw up their
own plans and designs of homes suitable to the
part of the country which they serve. These plant
operators will offer a varying number of houses for
sale. Some concentrate on two or three models,
others offer five or six styles. These are usually one
story houses, although two story houses can be
erected by this system. The local licensee usually
serves a limited area, either part or all of a state,
in order that the house may be economically trans-
ported by truck from the factory to the site. He
usually sells the homes directly to customers, al-
though some sell through real estate brokers.
Hayes Homes sell from about $4,500 for a com-
pletely equipped two bedroom model to $8,000
for the larger house shown on page 5 1 .
E. F. HODGSON COMPANY
1108 Commonwealth Avenue
This Cape Cod cottage can be obtained in any one
of several different floor plans, including the one
shown below. All are well-designed and attractive in
appearance. This particular model sells at about $3,000
without utilities and equipment.
A low rambling house with large, airy rooms and
many unusual features, such as the arched service
entryway, the main entry with its arched interior doors
to the living and dining rooms, the powder room, and
the built-in colonial cupboard. The kitchen and service
quarters are effectively isolated from the rest of the
house, and bedrooms are insulated by closets and pas-
sageways against noise. Since the house is large in its
overall dimensions it requires a good-sized lot to pro-
vide it with an appropriate setting.
Facts and Figures About Hodgson Homes
IT HAS been more than half a century since
E. F. Hodgson built a small factory at Dover,
Massachusetts, and began to make houses, camps
and buildings of various kinds in panel sections,
which could be erected quickly withqut sawing or
nailing. Since 1892 Hodgson houses have been
sold and erected in all parts of the United States
and in many foreign countries.
The Hodgson Company's method of operation
differs from that of most prefabricators in that it
does not have any set number of plans and designs
from which you must choose. Instead it offers spe-
cial panel sections in units consisting of walls, floor,
roof, and ceiling. These units are 6 feet long, in
varying widths of 12 feet, 18 feet, and 24 feet.
There are hip and gable ends and a valley roof
unit which can be used for L or T turns. With
this combination of units you can create just about
any plan you desire. If you want a house measuring
24 feet by 30 feet, you would order 5 units, 6 feet
by 24 feet, together with two 24 foot gables, one
for each end of the house. You can order the win-
dows or doors built into the wall panels at what-
ever location you wish. Windows may be either
double hung or casement type, and you can choose
from among several different types of doors,
porches, garages, bay windows, shutters and other
architectural treatment. Thus just as your small
son builds innumerable types of structures by vary-
ing the arrangement of his building blocks, so you
can become your own architect with almost limit-
less possibilities. Furthermore, the Hodgson Com-
pany's staff will assist you in preparing the plan
which will best satisfy your individual requirements
and come within your means.
If you do not care to embark upon this adven-
ture of designing your own house, Hodgson can
furnish you with scores of plans similar to those
shown on the preceding pages.
The framework of Hodgson wall panels is made
of red cedar and Oregon pine, covered on the ex-
terior with a heavy waterproof fiber, and over this
rabbeted red cedar clapboards are put on with gal-
vanized nails. The interior walls are covered with
¥2 inch Celotex Arctic board which serves as in-
sulation and wallboard. The inner finish may be
painted or papered as you prefer. The roofs are
framed with pine, lined with fiber and either cov-
ered with red cedar rabbeted boarding or with
board sheathing and asphalt or red cedar shingles.
Floors are constructed with spruce joists covered
with clear Oregon pine or fir, sanded and shel-
lacked. Grooved ledgers are connected to the floor
sections and into each ledger is fitted a tongue on
the side wall section, making a tight joint between
floor and side wall. If you wish to pay the addi-
tional charge, the company will furnish double
boarded floors with a waterproof paper between
boards. Ceilings consist of frames running across
the rooms to form panels 3 feet by 6 feet. In these
frames Arctic board panels are securely rabbeted.
The ceilings are either 7 ¥2 or 8.V2 feet high. Be-
fore the panels leave the factory they are painted
three coats on the exterior and interior woodwork
is stained walnut.
The Hodgson Company operates offices at
Dover, Massachusetts, Boston, and New York City.
In all other parts of the country, negotiations and
purchases are accomplished by direct correspond-
ence with the main Boston office. If you live
within 200 miles of Dover, shipment will prob-
ably be made by truck, which is the most con-
venient and the least expensive for short hauls. In
areas more than 200 miles from the factory, ship-
ment by rail or ship, if you live near the coast, is
preferable. At the present time, the company has
such a backlog of orders that deliveries are on a
four month basis; in normal times, however, de-
livery can be made within a week to ten days after
an order is received.
The Hodgson Company operates sales offices at
$900 for a small studio, kitchen, and lavatory meas-
uring just 12 feet by 18 feet to $19,000 for a 15
room house with four baths, two porches and a
connecting greenhouse. The prices of the three
houses shown on the preceding pages are $6,566,
$1,692, and $7,506 respectively. All prices are
f o.b. the factory and you must pay the freight
Extras You Will Have to Pay
The price you pay for a Hodgson house does
not include such items as excavation, foundation or
basement, erection, heating, wiring and plumbing
fittings and fixtures, window screens, shades, range,
refrigerator and cabinets. It is not feasible to at-
tempt any itemized estimate of the cost of these
items in view of the fact that each Hodgson cus-
tomer works out a separate and distinct design for
his own home. Thus the cost of the basic home
and the cost of these extras will vary accordingly.
However, you can expect these extra items approxi-
mately to double the price paid to the Hodgson
This little home, the smallest two bedroom house produced by the
Horsley system, is constructed by the same methods and with the same
quality materials as in the much larger and more expensive Johnson house
shown on the opposite page: This house is designed to reach the buyers
in the lower income, mass market.
Above; The Philip Johnson home, completely prefabricated by the Horsley system in
1940 and erected by workmen having no previous experience with prefabrication, was
selected in 1945 as one of the most important modern structures.
Below: The front of the Johnson
house is entirely of glass, three
round columns of laminated
maple providing the support for
the ceiling beams. It will be noted
that the house faces south to ad-
mit the warming rays of the winter
Facts and Figures About Horsley Homes
THE WORK underlying the construction activ-
ities of Horsley Structures, Inc., was initiated
by S. Clements Horsley, a well-known architect
and pioneer in prefabrication methods, more than
fifteen years ago. In the late 1920's Horsley began
to evolve a new architectural philosophy built
around materials and their uses. The basic premise
of this philosophy was that architects must know
the chemical and physical characteristics of mate-
rials, and then let these characteristics dictate their
use in construction. From this functional approach
to architecture it was only a short step to a deep
interest in industrialization processes and belt-line
production methods. In 1932 Horsley was award-
ed first prize in an architectural competition spon-
sored by the Architectural League of New York,
with a completely integrated, modern, prefabri-
cated house. Horsley established an organization
to evolve and perfect the system which he had
developed, and since 1939 this organization has
been operating as an incorporated company. Prior
to the war the company had built many interesting
and unusual homes, including some in the expen-
sive, quality class.
Number of Models
The Horsley system contemplates the construc-
tion of an alphabet of structural panels designed
so as to be suitable for many types of structures.
Thus, as our 26 letter alphabet can be formed into
a million words, so these basic structural entities,
factory produced in quantity, can be used to con-
struct a thousand different buildings, from one
story to many stories. Such a system provides
flexibility and variety in both plans and products.
It makes possible the construction of dormitories,
churches, schools, airplane hangars, shops, theaters,
and all types of farm buildings as well as private
homes. In order not to spread its immediate opera-
tions too thin, however, Horsley Structures is con-
centrating its current production on seven differ-
ent models of homes ranging from the smaller two
bedroom unit pictured on page 60 to spacious
three bedroom houses. Three of these homes are
styled in a distinctly modern manner, while four
follow more traditional design. All are planned to
be used without a basement, utility rooms being
provided in the larger houses. Detached or semi-
detached garages or "carports" can be obtained as
Construction and Erection
Horsley homes are built by the panel method
combined with a system of aligning members at
the juncture of all planes. Each panel has a skele-
ton structure or frame, covered on both sides by
plywood. The plywood is pressure glued to the
framework so that the surfaces of the panel work
with the frame to form a box girder type of panel.
This stress skin type of panel is the strongest struc-
ture, weight for weight, of any known type of con-
struction. It is made possible by the comparatively
recent development of synthetic resin glues which
produce waterproof plywood, and make possible
the cold glueing of panels. Panels are assembled
and glued in jigs as a belt-line product. Each panel
has an interlocking edge on all four sides, and all
Panels come from the factory completely in-
sulated and finished. When filled with fireproof
mineral wool insulation, they will not sustain com-
bustion, and will pass more than a one hour fire
test under ASTM standards.
At the juncture of all planes— floors with walls,
ceiling with w r alls and roof with walls— there is an
aligning beam which performs a twofold purpose:
(a) it aligns all panels into a true plane, and (b)
insures an accurate and tight joint between wall
panels and the floor or roof. The aligning founda-
tion beams are set in place first, and to these beams
are interlocked the floor panels, which come to the
building site completely finished with insulation,
hardwood flooring and surface treatment. The
walls also interlock with the foundation beam, and
all panels are glued into place with the latest re-
corcinal resin glue, pressured by the use of properly
spaced screws. When the walls are up they are
aligned by an eve beam which interlocks with the
walls and with the ceiling panels.
Interior and exterior wall surfaces may be of any
color or natural wood finish. Paneling of the hard-
woods, such as walnut, cost little more than
painted surfaces so that even the lower priced
homes may afford beautiful wood paneled walls.
Special plastic treatment is pressed and baked into
the wall surfaces after the panel has been fabri-
cated. Upkeep and maintenance of surfaces are
kept to a minimum for as much as ten or fifteen
years by this special treatment.
The company plans to merchandise the homes
produced at its Oregon plant through dealers and
department stores, and in some cases promotional
developers. All of the parts for the basic shell of
the house are shipped to the local distributor who
assumes full responsibility for erection and the in-
stallation of utilities.
Horsley Homes are tentatively priced from
$4,000 to $6,000, although uncertainties in the
raw material market have prevented the establish-
ment of a firm price schedule.
JOHNSON QUALITY HOMES, INC.
j 270 Forty-First Street
Brooklyn, New York
A well-balanced design providing five large rooms and an attractive stair-
way leading up from the living room to the attic, which can be finished
to provide additional bedroom space. When the breezeway and garage
are added, the overall length of the home is about 76 feet.
| «*-lo">< ll'-IO"
a|U a*™ pn
BIB ILOOH I
A smartly modern rambling low-roof model for a fair-sized plot. Main
house is 62 feet long, and with the garage is 73 feet long, but is well de-
signed to be placed lengthwise on a lot. A large living room forms the
entire central portion of the house with glass area facing the patio. Ample
windows on the*opposite side of the large living room assure light and
Facts and Figures About Johnson Homes
THE JOHN A. JOHNSON CORP., with head-
quarters at Brooklyn, N. Y., and affiliated mills
located at Pemberton, N. J., Conway, S. C. and
Johnson City, Tenn., has launched a large-scale
postwar program for the production and sale of
pre-assembled housing units. The company is no
novice in the housing field having constructed sev-
eral thousand wartime emergency housing units
for the government, including many near the
atomic bomb plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Types of Houses
At the present time it offers seven different
models in both traditional and modern design. The
plans for these homes are flexible. The purchaser
who prefers a cellar can have it or the house can
be constructed without a basement, having a util-
ity and storage room on the ground floor. Further-
more, many of these houses are planned with a
view to future expansion to keep pace with in-
creases in family or income. In one of the smaller
houses, for example, the original closet space be-
tween the two bedrooms can be easily transformed
into a hallway leading to a new wing containing
two additional bedrooms.
The Johnson Company supplies about 80 per
cent of the materials which go into the completed
shell of the house. Exterior wall panels of story
height and the length of an entire room are pro-
duced at the factory from 2x4 wood framing
covered on the exterior by Vi inch fiberboard
sheathing which also serves as insulation. Either
wood siding or shingles are applied over this fiber-
board. Windows and doors are installed, but the
interior of the wall panels are not ordinarily fin-
ished at the factory, being left open for the in-
stallation of the electrical and plumbing systems
at the site. Floor panels are also produced at the
factory with i inch subflooring being securely
nailed to the heavy, broad joists. Hardwood finish
flooring is supplied, but to prevent scratching and
denting is applied at the site after the rough con-
struction work is completed. The roof rafters,
sheathing and shingles are all furnished, but must
be installed by usual hammer and saw methods at
Merchandising and Price
In order that the public can see exactly what
Johnson homes look like, this company has placed
full-sized homes on display in department stores in
some of our larger cities. John Wanamaker stores
in Philadelphia and New York have each given
over an entire floor to a little village comprised of
several life-sized houses completely constructed,
furnished and equipped. If no store in your com-
munity sells these homes, you can order directly
from the Johnson Company. The prices quoted on
these semi-assembled houses range from $2,527
for a two bedroom cottage to $6,136 for the spa-
cious, modern design shown on page 65. These
prices do not include many of the necessary costs
in providing the finished home, as will be pointed
out below, and it is necessary to double the quoted
price to arrive at an approximation of the final cost
of the house ready for occupancy.
Additional Items to be Supplied by Purchaser
Although Johnson Homes can be constructed
with or without a basement, most of the plans
call for large utility rooms on the first floor for the
heating unit, water heater and laundry equipment,
thus making a basement unnecessary. You will still
have to provide a foundation for these houses to-
gether with the anchor bolts which are embedded
at the top of the foundation wall and the sill plate
which is attached to the foundation.
You will also have to pay the freight charges^on
a Johnson Home from their nearest plant to your
freight station and then have the materials trucked
to the site.
Since the factory-built panels are large, several
men will be required to lift them into place. First
the floor panels are assembled and nailed to the
sill plate atop the foundation wall. Then the wall
and partition panels are brought to their proper
position on the floor panels and nailed to the floor
framing and to each other. Ceiling joists are then
strung across the walls and partitions, and the roof
rafters, sheathing and shingles are put on. Finally,
the finish hardwood flooring is laid over the sub-
flooring installed at the factory. It is estimated that
six carpenters could have the house shell com-
pleted in about five days. The plumbing, wiring
and heating systems and fixtures, the range, refrig-
erator and kitchen cabinets must also be furnished
and installed at purchaser's expense. After the
utilities are roughed in an interior wall surface of
lath and plaster or wallboard must be applied. If
a fireplace is desired the material and labor for its
construction must be supplied by the owner.
After the house is completed, the exterior and
interior will have to be painted and finished. A
priming coat is put on the exterior walls at the
factory, but all other painting and decorating is
left up to the purchaser. The Devoe and Reynolds
Paint Co. has printed a small brochure giving
the paint specifications for these houses.
Thus the total cost of a Johnson Home will
range between $8,600 and $10,500 for the first
two homes and $10,000 to $12,500 for the large
modern style home shown on page 65.
R. G. LeTOURNEAU, INC.
Inner forms are placed upon their bases
— door and window frames are set
against the forms in desired sizes, num-
ber and locations, and electrical con-
duits, fuse boxes and room outlet boxes
set in place. Reinforcing steel mesh is
mounted and it's ready for the outer
The Tournalayer, with outer form hoist-
ed high in the air, backs up so that the
rear wheels straddle the inner forms and
suspends the outer form directly over-
The electrically controlled hoists lower
the outer form down over the inner form
until it rests on the base. The Tourna-
layer may be unhitched from the outer
form, leaving the forms assembled and
ready for concrete pouring. The Tourna-
layer is then free to repeat this operation
with other molds. One Tournalayer unit
can service as many as twelve molds.
Mixer moves in . . . begins pouring con-
crete into top of each mold. Care is
taken to see that concrete is worked
closely around window and door frames.
When walls and partition have been
poured, the mixer continues to pour
until roof is completed. The entire mold
remains there until the concrete is ade-
After the concrete has set sufficiently, a
worker enters the inside of the chambers
and by turning a crank, the walls of the
inner mold come inward, away from the
concrete. The Tournalayer backs up,
straddles the mold, and hooks onto the
outer form. The Tournalayer hoists the
outer form, house and all, and starts trav-
eling toward the building site.
Approaching the building site, the form
containing the house is carried directly
over its permanent location which has
been previously trenched out or leveled.
The outer form containing house is now
lowered into position. After positioning,
a simple mechanical device moves the
four sides of the outside form outward
. . . clears the house all around. The
mold is then hoisted to clear the top of
the house, and the Tournalayer returns
the mold to the central operating point
for the next house.
Here is an exterior view of one of the
first Tournalaid homes completed at a
development near Vicksburg, Missis-
sippi, built for LeTourneau employees.
Facts and Figures About the Tournalaid Homes
THE LeTOURNEAU. CORP. for many years
has been engaged in the deevlopment, manu-
facture, and sale of various types of earth-moving
machinery and equipment such as rooters, bull-
dozers, and cranes. The president of this company
had long been interested in the problem of better
and cheaper housing and in 1936 the company be-
gan to experiment wtih various methods for the
factory production of homes for its workers. Its
first home, of all steel welded construction, meas-
ured 32 by 44 feet and included three bedrooms
and a built-in garage. These houses were attractive
and cheap, but they presented a real problem of
delivery since they were entirely assembled at the
plant and proved much too large to be hauled on
the highway. Therefore, the company turned to
other methods and finally developed the equip-
ment for the construction of cast concrete dwell-
Number of Models Ottered
All LeTourneau Homes have the same basic di-
mensions— 3 2'8" long by 24' wide. This does not
mean, however, that all these houses are identical
with respect to exterior appearance or interior ar-
rangement. Openings for windows and doors can
be arranged in any size, number or shape in any of
the four walls. The front entrance and kitchen door
may have a protecting hood or not according to
your own preference. Inside the house doors or
archways may be molded into the center concrete
partition, and the other partitions can be con-
structed according to a wide variety of plans.
The walls and center partition of the LeTour-
neau house are 5 inches thick, but flare out at the
bottom to 12 inches for foundation and bearing
area. The walls are 10 feet high so that the house
can be set into a trench almost 2 feet deep and still
provide an 8 foot ceiling. Thus the house provides
its own foundation. The roof is 8 inches thick at
the outside and slopes in to the center from which
a single drain buried in the concrete carries the
rain water to the side of the roof.
Floors may be either wood or concrete. Where
concrete is used, several inches of gravel or cinders
are first laid and tamped, then topped with a layer
of felt to eliminate moisture. Over the concrete
slab either tile, wood or linoleum floor surfacing
may be employed.
Window and door frames may be of either
wood, steel or aluminum as desired and windows
may be casement or double hung. Any standard
door can be used.
Partitions bear no weight so they may be of light
frame construction covered with any type of wall-
board or lath and plaster, according to your own
Any type of heating equipment may be in-
stalled, but radiant heating by hot water pipes or
hot air conduits cast into the concrete or tile floor
are recommended. This type of heating system is
entirely out of sight and the heat rises evenly and
healthfully from the entire floor surface.
Method and Area of Distribution
The LeT ourneau Company is not primarily in
the business of manufacturing and selling prefab-
ricated houses. It does manufacture and make
available the "houselaying" machines which pro-
duce the LeTourneau concrete home. In addition
to the Tournalayer and the basic molds, the com-
pany also produces a Tournamixer, which mixes
up to 8 cubic yards of concrete at a time and ejects
the concrete up to an elevation of 16 feet; and the
Tournacrane, a specially designed crane for assem-
bling molds and other heavy lifting jobs. These
machines are leased to contractors and real estate
development firms throughout the country and in
Cost of a Tournalaid Home
It is contemplated that with reasonable working
conditions the monthly rental on the necessary
machinery will cost the contractor somewhere be-
tween $300 and $500 per house. To this initial
cost must be added the cost of the 45 cubic yards
of insulating concrete and 2,000 pounds of rein-
forcing steel, doors and windows, partitions, in-
stallation of electric conduit, a coat of waterproof-
ing on the exterior, and painting and decorating on
the interior. The cost of these additional items
would increase the total price to approximately
$1,500. Plumbing and fixtures, heating and fix-
tures, kitchen cabinets, tile, linoleum or wood
floors on the concrete, bookcases, a refrigerator and
range would probably run the cost up to about
$3,500 on a "ready for occupancy" basis.
LEWIS MANUFACTURING CO.
Bay City, Michigan
The traditional lines of this five room house have been altered by the addition of
an attractive front gable, an extended en try way, and such architectural treatment as
Colonial shutters and window boxes. The floor plan is compact, with the bathroom
conveniently located between the two bedrooms and handy to the stairway leading
to the second floor where future bedrooms may be provided. The plan calls for a full
basement to house the heating and laundry units and to provide additional storage
This home provides five cozy rooms downstairs with space for two additional bed-
rooms upstairs. The well-proportioned living room is amply lighted by the large studio
window at the front and two regular-size windows at the side. The dinette arrange-
ment with a wide curved archway into the living room affords a feeling of added spa-
ciousness to both rooms and exemplifies the trend away from large, separate dining
Facts and Figures About Liberty Homes
THE LEWIS MANUFACTURING CO., one
of the pioneers in this field, employs the pre-
cut method of prefabrication by which all the
lumber is measured and cut to the exact length at
the factory, ready to be fitted together by local
workmen at the site. Detailed plans are furnished
and each piece of lumber is numbered on the plans
and a corresponding number stamped on the piece
itself. Windows and doors are assembled at the
factory and nails, hardware, paint, varnish, roofing
and other materials are included.
Number of Models and Pikes
There are thirty-two different one and two story
Liberty homes supplied by the Lewis Company at
prices ranging from $1,200 to $3,700. These
homes are ordered from an attractive mail-order
catalogue, sold for twenty-five cents by the com-
pany, which contains pictures and floor plans of
each of the homes it offers. As soon as your order
is received, the company's architectural depart-
ment sends you detailed working blueprints and
complete instructions on how to build the founda-
tion—either with or without a basement.
Transportation and Election
The materials for your house are sent from the
factory at Bay City, Michigan, to your local freight
station. If you live east of the Mississippi River
and north of Kentucky and Virginia, the Lewis
Company will pay the entire freight charges. If
you live farther south or west, you must bear the
freight charges for the additional distance. The
materials are specially loaded in a sealed boxcar
with studs, rafters, sheathing, siding, etc. being
stacked together. You will have to pay the expense
of unloading the freight car and transporting the
material from the railroad siding to the building
Since all the measuring and sawing is done by
machinery at the factory, you are spared these
time-consuming operations, and the erection can
be accomplished in a shorter period with a sub-
stantial saving in labor costs. One story houses can
be erected by three men in approximately three
weeks; two story homes require from three to
Many of the Liberty house plans show fireplaces
at the locations which are considered best by the
architects employed by the Lewis Company. How-
ever, the materials for fireplaces and chimneys are
not included and the ultimate decisions as to
whether or not the house is to have a fireplace and
where the chimney is to be located are left to the
purchaser. The high cost of shipping heavy ma-
sonry materials such as bricks and cement for long
distances make it impractical to include these
materials with the Liberty home units, and the
home buyer must secure these materials from a
local mason supply dealer. The cost of materials
and labor will probably be between $200 and
$300, depending upon the size and design of fire-
place and chimney and the labor costs at the place
Before the house is completed, the plumbing,
electrical and heating systems must be installed.
The Lewis Company does not include any of these
materials or fixtures with their homes. A complete
kit containing all the electrical material necessary
for the wiring of any one of their homes can be
purchased as optional equipment from the com-
pany at an additional price. The ultimate cost
will depend upon the type and number of fixtures
and the number of outlets installed, but your out-
lay for an electrical system will probably amount
to at least $200 and perhaps as much as $500.
The installation of your plumbing system in-
cluding a sink, lavatory, bathtub, toilet, hot water
heater and laundry will undoubtedly cost a great
deal more. Expect to pay between $600 and
$1,000 for the plumbing item in your building
budget and give yourself and your plumber plenty
of time to obtain the necessary equipment. A
warm air heating system will add an additional
$300 to $500 and steam or hot water systems are
Lath and Plaster or WaJJboard
After the utilities are roughed in, the house
must be insulated, the interior walls lathed and
plastered or covered with wallboarding. Insula-
tion of the house will cost between $200 and $300
and the material and labor for either lath and
plaster or wallboard interior, finish will amount to
an additional $350 to $500.
After construction of the house is completed
and the utilities installed, the house must be
painted, the interior decorated, and the floors
sanded and finished. Paint for the exterior and
stain and varnish for interior trim are supplied by
Lewis Company. The labor for painting and finish-
ing the interior is likely to amount to between
$300 and $500. Additional items, such as a refriger-
ator, range, and cabinets will probably add another
Price for Finished House
Thus, the approximate cost, exclusive of the lot,
of a completed Liberty home such as those shown
on the preceding pages would be between $5,000
and $8,000 for the one story models, and between
$7,000 and $10,000 for two story homes.
LINCOLN HOUSES CORPORATION
The house pictured above is one of several five room units constructed early in 1946
in Virginia. These homes have been occupied since their erection and have proved
wholly satisfactory. This model has recently been replaced by a larger five room design
with an L shaped floor plan.
Below: The interior of one of the early Lincoln Homes.
This attractive nine room home provides many features not generally obtained in
houses costing under $10,000. It provides two bathrooms, three bedrooms, an office
or den, a 26 foot living room, a large separate dining room, and a full-size kitchen.
The unique dining terrace with its plastic tube trellis and corrugated glass shield
gives the house added distinction.
Facts and Figures About Lincoln Homes
THE LINCOLN house embodies a new and
unique process, developed during the war, for
making a structural material at a low cost. This
process was developed by Lincoln Industries for
use in radar housings on war planes and most of
the army and navy requirements were filled by this
company. The experience and research necessary in
constructing these materials to comply with strict
government strength and weight requirements pro-
vided a helpful background when the firm turned
to experimenting in the production of house mate-
rials at the end of the war.
A New Material— Expanded Structural Plastic
Lincoln plastic panels are made by alternating
sheets of heavy paper, cloth, or glass cloth with
glue strips. When the desired thickness is ob-
tained, the sheets are expanded on an automatic
machine to form a honeycomb pattern. This honey-
comb core is thoroughly impregnated with high-
strength phenolic resin and then bonded between
facing sheets of aluminum alloy, and the entire
panel sealed with a vapor barrier.
Tests conducted by independent laboratories
show that this material provides both great strength
and high insulating properties. The roof panels
have a tested bearing capacity sufficient to with-
stand an 8 foot snow load. The bearing capacity of
the wall panels compares favorably with the load
carrying capacity of a brick wall one foot thick.
Insulating values were obtained by a special test
made by governmental agencies in June 1946 for
the National Housing Administration. A 3 inch
Lincoln panel was found to permit only one fifth
the thermal transmittance of a- 12 inch concrete
wall, one third that of an 8 inch brick or cinder
block wall, and substantially less than a 7 inch
frame wall, and was adjudged adequate, without
the use of separate insulating material, in all cli-
mates where a low winter temperature of 20 de-
grees below zero obtains. The material has remark-
able insulating properties with respect to sound as
well as heat and cold, and is impervious to dry rot,
internal condensation, termites and other destruc-
How the Lincoln House is Built
The plastic-paper core between aluminum sheets
is made into panels 4 feet wide, 8 feet high, and
either 2 or 3 inches in thickness. Large single pane
windows which give an uninterrupted view are
built into the panels at the factory. The large win-
dows at the front are fixed, and screened louvers
inserted in the wall panels supply controlled ven-
tilation. The windows in the rear are of the case-
ment type opening outward on metal slides. Doors
are of panel construction employing the new mate-
rial with a thin wood veneer which gives them a
natural, solid-wood appearance. The doors weigh
only 7 pounds as contrasted with an average 20
pounds of a solid-wood door. The foundation of
the house is cinder block, concrete, or any other
standard masonry construction. The floor consists
of a concrete slab poured over a metal grill, with
tile, linoleum or wood finished flooring laid over it.
Heat is supplied by a special unit installed be-
neath the floor. The house is heated both by radi-
ation from the heated concrete floor and by con-
vection through conveniently placed registers. This
method of heating is inexpensive, and does not
encroach upon the living space in the house.
Roof panels are 3 inches in thickness, employing
a protective cap mold over the sealed joints. A V4
inch slope for every 4 feet allows the roof to be-
come automatically self-cleaning.
Paint of any desired color can be baked on the
panels at the factory, and these surfaces can be
washed and waxed in the same manner that a car
is cleaned. Interior walls may be painted, papered
or covered with veneer,
Manufacture and Erection
At present Lincoln Houses, Inc. is turning out
only a limited number of these homes at its pilot
plant at Marion, Virginia, but within the next few
months several of the larger airplane factories will
begin production under the Lincoln process. Since
the new material is lightweight and easily trans-
ported, distribution will probably be nationwide!
Erection is extremely simple, and can be accom-
plished in about two days by the local Lincoln
Number of Models
The basic house contains two bedrooms, bath,
living room, kitchen, dining room and general
utility room. The design makes provision for the
convenient addition of another bedroom, and
other optional features, including a garage, porch,
sleeping porch, and fireplace. There is also a stand-
ard three bedroom house, and, for the immediate
future, construction of Lincoln Homes as a part
of the Veteran's Emergency Housing Program will
be confined to these two plans. Ultimately a wide
variety of homes will be produced.
The price of the basic two bedroom house will
be in the $3,500 to $4,000 range. This includes
heating unit, installation of electrical and plumb-
ing fixtures, as well as erection on the home site.
The price does not include the site itself, nor the
kitchen range, refrigerator, or hot water heater.
The three bedroom house will cost about $4,500.
NATIONAL HOMES CORPORATION
An efficient one floor plan arrangement available in any one of four attractive ex-
teriors of traditional architectural design. The basement is eliminated in this model
and mechanical equipment, utility, and working conveniences are provided for in the
first floor utility room. The bedrooms have roomy, ceiling-height closets and built-in
chests of drawers.
In this model the utility, heating, and mechanical equipment are located in the full-
sized basement provided by this plan. With this exception the floor plan is identical
with the one shown on the preceding page, yet the architectural treatment is varied
so as to give a wholly different exterior appearance. The small gable has been placed
at the center of the house and the entrance is of a different style. Wide bevel siding
on the front of the house and the addition of a small front terrace have further
altered the appearance of the house.
Facts and Figures About National Homes
NATIONAL HOMES CORP. was founded in
1940, with assets of over a million dollars
and a large, modern plant especially designed for
the mass production of prefabricated homes. In
the past five years National Homes has built and
distributed more than 10,000 houses from this
plant at Lafayette, Indiana. The company has a
capacity of more than 7,500 homes per year under
three shift operation, but because of the present
shortages in many basic building materials, the
current production amounts to only 40 houses
National Homes are manufactured in five basic
floor plans, which may be had in nine different
traditional designs. All five basic houses are avail-
able in either right or left hand plans, so that you
may locate the living room side of the house on
either side of your lot according to your own
preference. These homes range from two bed-
rooms, living room, kitchen, bath, and utility room
with overall measurements of 24 feet by 28 feet
to a three bedroom house with a large living room,
bath, kitchen, and basement having overall meas-
urements of 24 by 36 feet. The ceiling height in
all homes is 8 feet.
National Homes are constructed by the panel
method of prefabrication with full room -size panel
sections being completely manufactured at the fac-
tory. The 2x3 framing studs are spaced 16 inches
on center and to this frame a special Vs inch water-
proof plywood is securely fastened to form the ex-
terior surface of the wall. Since this plywood is a
finished product, no further exterior surface mate-
rial is required, although weatherboarding or
shingles are sometimes applied over this plywood
in order to provide variation in design and appear-
ance. The interior walls are covered with Vk inch
interior grade plywood, being both glued and
nailed to the studding. The exterior and interior
surfaces of the wall panels receive a prime coat of
clear sealer at the factory before shipment. All
doors and windows are hung and installed in the
room-size panels, and are completely trimmed,
glass installed, and weatherstripped with copper
and aluminum weatherstripping before leaving the
One of the outstanding features of National
Homes construction is the incorporation of steel
columns, beams and bar joists for structural floor
framing. This means that in these homes, you have
rigid, well-anchored steel rather than wood sup-
porting your floor— a new and desirable innovation
in home construction. Across the steel joists are
laid the. oak floor sections, with subfloor and inter-
mediate cross joists. These are securely fastened to
the steel joists with special designed clips at 16
Ceiling and roof are also of panelized construc-
tion, made of heavy plywood over 2x4 joists and
rafters. The gable ends, it will be noted, are not
made of plywood, but are formed of vertical siding
for architectural variation.
Other Materials Furnished
In addition to the large panels which form the
floor, walls, ceiling, and roof of a National Home,
the company supplies without additional charge
a good many extras not included in all prefabri-
cated homes. Bedrooms are supplied with built-in
chest units completely assembled with four draw-
ers. The closets are provided with shelves,, poles
and hooks. Combination storm and screen doors
are provided for all exterior entrances and half
screens are furnished for all windows. The double
hung type windows are all of lightweight alumi-
num construction, which is becoming increasingly
popular for new homes. The company supplies
Slater's felt and 210 lb. asphalt shingles in a vari-
ety of colors to be applied at the site. Two 36 by
36 inch wall cabinets and a 60 inch combination
base and sink cabinet, two corner shelves and a
china storage closet are supplied as well as such
decorative items as long or short shutters and flow-
Although many National Homes have been
shipped as far as 800 miles from the Lafayette,
Indiana plant, the company plans to restrict its
sales, for the most part, to a radius of about 300
miles, which would include the middle west states
of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and
Wisconsin. Within this area National Homes are
distributed through authorized dealers who have
been selected and trained to assist you in selecting
a suitable home and then to handle all of the de-
tails of erection on the site. If you live within the
area served by National Homes, the company will
be glad to advise you of the name and address of
the dealer nearest you.
The price range of these homes is between
$4,950 for the two bedroom house to $6,200 for
the three bedroom house. This price is for the
completed home ready for occupancy.
PEASE WAT HOMES
PEASE WOODWORK COMPANY
Blue Rock and Turrill Streets
Cincinnati 23, Ohio
During 1946, production is being limited by the Pease Company to a four room,
Cape Cod Colonial home, the plan of which is shown below. Two bedrooms are
provided on the first floor and the attic can be finished into a large bedroom. The
exterior of this house, as shown above, may be substantially altered by the addition
of dormers, porches' vestibules and garages, and the use of shingles, brick or stone
veneer instead of bevel siding.
Careful examination of the two houses pictured here reveals that they have the
same basic exterior arrangement, yet the use of different types of surface covering,
doors and shutters and contrasting color schemes has effectively concealed their kin-
ship. The addition of the open porch (above) and the arcade and attached garage
(below) adds to the dissimilarity of the two houses.
Facts and Figures About Peaseway Homes
THE PEASE WOODWORK CO. has been in
the mill work supply business for more than a
half century. In 1939 the four Pease brothers, who
had inherited the business from their father, be-
came interested in the prefabrication of houses
and set up a small experimental plant early in
1940. The fifty homes manufactured that year
were widely distributed in order to obtain the re-
action of a number of builders operating in differ-
ent areas. Since the reaction was favorable, the
company decided to expand its facilities and pur-
chased a large plant in Hamilton, Ohio. This plant
has a capacity of about 2,500 houses per year on
Number of Models
Before the war twenty-four different floor plans
were available ranging from four rooms and bath
on one floor to a two story house with six rooms
and two baths. Some of these homes are shown
on the preceding pages. The plans were flexible in
arrangement so as to be adaptable to lots of differ-
ent sizes and shapes, and variable as to exterior ap-
pearance through the use of either bevel siding,
stained wood shingles, asbestos shingles, brick
veneer or stone facing, and a wide choice of archi-
tectural treatment. However, in an effort to com-
ply with the spirit of the reconversion housing pro-
gram and obtain maximum production of mod-
erately priced homes, production is being limited
this year to the four room, Cape Cod Colonial
house shown on page 84. There is a variety of ap-
pendages which may be added to this house, such 1
as dormers, porches, vestibules and garages, to vary
the exterior and prevent a stereotyped appearance.
How Peaseway Homes are Built
One of the unique contributions of this com-
pany is a new splined connection to join plywood
sheets together without visible joints. The wall sec-
tions are made of these room-size plywood panels
bonded and nailed to standard 2x4 framework.
A layer of waterproof paper is placed over the ex-
terior plywood sheathing and held in place by Vs
inch thick furring strips running from top to bot-
tom of the panel. After the prefabricated super-
structure has been erected at the site, the exterior
wall surfaces are covered with bevel siding or other
suitable material. There is no special insulation
material placed in the side walls since there are
two air spaces (one between the inner plywood
wall and the exterior plywood sheathing and the
second between the sheathing and the siding ) . The
openings for windows and doors are cut in the
wall panels at the factory, but installation is not
made until erection.
The floors are made into sections 4 feet wide and
full-room length. These sections consist of 2 x 3
sub-joists, 5/16 inch plywood subflooring and 1 x
4 pre-finished oak flooring. A layer of waterproof
paper is placed between the oak flooring and the
plywood subflooring. In the kitchen and baths, a
heavier plywood is employed and this is covered
The ceilings consist of plywood nailed and glued
to 1 x 3 rib strips to form panels which are nailed
to the ceiling joists at the site. Roof rafters and
sheathing are pre-cut to exact size to be assembled
at the site. Kimsul insulation, Slaters felt and
210 lb. asphalt shingles in a choice of colors also
Windows are supplied in completely assembled
units hung on adjustable sash balances and com-
plete with weatherstripping ready to be installed in
the wall panels. Doors are prefltted to size and cut
for the installation of hardware. Molded trim is
pre-cut to exact size and carton packed to assure
against injury en route.
Other Materials Furnished
The company supplies a 66" white enameled
steel kitchen double-bond sink cabinet with swing-
ing faucet and spray attachment, a 21" x 84"
utility unit, three wall cabinets, and an electric
ventilating fan. For the bathroom a white enam-
eled medicine cabinet with plate glass mirror and
polished chromium accessories are furnished.
Screens for all windows and doors are supplied.
Method of Distribution
Peaseway homes are sold only through author-
ized dealers located in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana,
Illinois, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The dealer
prepares the site, constructs the basement and
foundation, erects the house, arranges with the
purchaser as to the type of plumbing and heating
equipment desired, the selection of wallpaper,
paint and other decorations, installs the utilities,
and prepares the house for occupancy. The dealer's
crew is trained by a Pease supervisor and can put
the home under roof in one day. The installation
of the plumbing, heating and wiring and the paint-
ing, papering and decorating ordinarily can be com-
pleted within a period of two or three weeks.
The price of the Peaseway home now being
constructed varies according to the type of equip-
ment selected by the purchaser, but with full
equipment usually ranges between $6,000 and
PRECISION HOMES COMPANY
1011 East Channel Street
A straightforward ranch type house with a board-and-batten exterior.
The extended roof line provides a spacious veranda almost 50 feet in
length. The house has no basement, being heated by a modern, dual- wall
furnace and having a special closet for the water heater and other utility
This home is built around a lovely patio suitable for a multitude of uses.
It can serve as a study, a play room, a dining room, or for just plain loafing
and relaxing. Three principal rooms— the master bedroom, the living
room, and the kitchen-breakfast nook— overlook and share the privacy ot
this sheltered bit of the out-of-doors. The house also has a well-balanced
and pleasing exterior with an unusual recessed entranceway providing the
primary point of interest.
Facts and Figures About Precision Homes
THE PRECISION HOMES CO. and its affili-
ate, Central Lumber Co., have been in the
prefabrication business for about eight years, and
produced and sold several hundred homes prior to
our entry into the war. Thereafter the company
entered into the emergency housing program, and
prefabricated the interesting Francesca Terrace
project at Benicia, California. Precision Homes has
large production capacity, and plans to produce
about two thousand homes in 1947.
Number of Models
Before the war the company featured custom-
built homes constructed in the Precision Homes
factory to the exact specifications of the customer
and his architect. This made possible the widest
variety in design of the homes produced, but, since
each job was a separate entity having no relation
to the others, maximum speed and efficiency could
not be achieved. In co-operation with the Veter-
an's Emergency Housing Program, current pro-
duction is limited to three basic one floor models
providing either two or three bedrooms. Each
model can be obtained in a right hand or left hand
plan and in different elevations and styles, so that
a good deal of variety in appearance can be
achieved. Breezeways, arcades, porches, attached or
detached garages, shutters, window boxes, and
other architectural treatment are supplied as op-
Materials and Construction
The Precision Homes method of wall construc-
tion consists of 4 by 8 foot panels, studded 16
inches on center, with double studs occurring
every 4 feet when assembled, to form a structure
of post and girder design. Exterior-grade plywood
is both glued and nailed to outside walls for
stressed skin construction, by which the plywood
carries a portion of the building load. It has been
demonstrated by tests conducted at the U. S. For-
est Products Laboratory, that this stress skin type
of construction has far greater relative rigidity and
strength than conventional methods of on-the-site
construction. The interior of the Precision panels
is covered with gypsum board which may be either
painted or papered, as desired by the ultimate pur-
Floors may be either of two types furnished by
the company. The first type consists of a heavy con-
crete slab foundation with asphalt tile flooring laid
over the concrete. The second is an all- wood floor
structure of regular floor panels with hardwood
flooring in all principal rooms. Linoleum or tile is
supplied for bathroom and kitchen. Ceilings and
roofs are also constructed by the panel method.
Asphalt shingles, wood shingles, or built-up com-
position roofing are also furnished and applied after
the house has been erected at the site. Wood in-
terior and exterior doors and wood-framed case-
ment windows are installed in the wall panels at
the factory and are complete with glass and hard-
ware. Window and door screens and window blinds
are all furnished by the company.
In addition to the basic superstructure of the
house, Precision Homes supplies most of the equip-
ment used in the home. Either a BX or Romex
wiring system is installed at the site together with
lighting fixtures in the hall, bedrooms, dining
room, kitchen, bath and utility room and numer-
ous plug-in receptacles at convenient locations in
the living room. All plumbing, bathroom fixtures,
including such minor items as a medicine cabinet,
towel rods, soap dishes, paper holders, etc., the
kitchen sink, laundry trays and a gas fired hot water
heater are furnished and installed. Wood kitchen
cabinets cover one entire wall of the long kitchen
in each of these homes. A gas fired floor furnace 01
a wall panel ray are also included as standard heat-
ing unit for these homes.
Distribution and Erection
Precision Homes serves only the state of Cali-
fornia, and concentrates a large part of its distribu-
tion in the San Joaquin Valley. Because it confines
its operation to this limited area, it is able to deal
directly with many of its customers. It also em-
ploys dealer representatives who distribute Pre-
cision Homes in areas not served by the company
itself. Either the company or its dealer will assume
full responsibility for the complete erection, in-
stallation of utilities, and decorating according to
the customer's own color scheme. Under normal
conditions delivery can be made in approximately
two weeks after receipt of an order and erection
completed in from three to four weeks. At present
lack of certain materials makes the delivery sched-
The price range of PH houses is from $4,000
for the small two bedroom house to $9,000 for the
large three bedroom house with garage and other
architectural treatment. All prices cover erection,
decoration, utility systems, and all normal equip-
ment except a refrigerator and kitchen range.
• 734 N. E. 55th Avenue
Portland 13, Oregon
Aside from the attractive modern styling of Prenco Homes, their
spaciousness and generous storage facilities make them noteworthy.
Few new homes, for example, which sell today in the $6,000 price
class can boast a living room having dimensions as large as the 18 feet
by 18 feet offered by this home. Six closets for wearing apparel, two
for sweepers, mops, card tables and
other household items, a linen
closet, and two storage rooms pro-
vide a good deal more and better
storage space than is to be found
in most present-day houses in the
same price range.
The large, carefully planned, well-lighted kitchen and connecting laundry room,
as shown in the floor plan below, will have strong appeal to women. Wall storage
cabinets are indicated by the dotted lines over the sink, range and laundry trays. The
main entrance to the house may be at the side, as shown in this house, or at the front,
as illustrated on the opposite page. Prenco offers a choice of ten different designs of
Facts and Figures About Prenco Homes
THE PREFARRICATION ENGINEERING
CO. was organized in 1937 by the C. D.
Johnson Corp., a large northwest lumber com-
pany, to develop the sectional system of prefabri-
cation which had been introduced, just a short
time before, by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The headquarters of Prenco are located in Port-
land, and it has plants in that city and in Toledo,
Oregon. During the war the company entered into
the emergency housing program and produced a
large number of dwelling units. With the end of
hostilities it reconverted its plants to the produc-
tion of the larger and more attractive peacetime
homes. Due to the critical shortages of raw mate-
rials, production was limited in 1946 to a few hun-
dred units, but the projected production for 1947
is about three thousand homes.
Contemporary Style and Design
Most prefabricates have made substantial con-
cessions to the past by designing their houses in
the architectural styles which were in vogue a cen-
tury and a half ago. They employ pitched roofs
(although they cost more and often serve no useful
purpose) and such unusable appendages as decora-
tive shutters, false dormers, plaques and pilasters
and corner quoins. Not so with Prenco. Its homes
are styled in the contemporary manner which is
receiving increasing acceptance, particularly on the
west coast. The savings achieved by the elimina-
tion of the pitched roof and unused appendages of
traditional architecture are used to increase the
size of the house itself. The two bedroom house,
for example, measures 26 1 '8" by 32' as compared
with the 24' by 28' dimensions common in so
many of the small two bedroom bungalows being
built throughout the country today. This extra
width and length add substantially to the floor
area and to the spaciousness and comfort which
the home affords. The three bedroom unit is
26 ; 3" by 40', having well over 1000 square feet
of floor space.
Prenco offers nine different models of homes.
Four floor plan modifications of each type house
satisfy various orientations which may be neces-
sary because of the topography, direction or view.
Four exterior color selections provide further vari-
ety in exterior appearance.
How Prenco Homes Are Made
Over 95 per cent of the work of constructing,
erecting, and equipping Prenco homes is accom-
plished before the house sections leave the factory.
Each section is 2 6' 8" long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet
high, and comes complete with floors, walls, roofs,
windows, doors, wiring, plumbing and heating. It
will be noted, by reference to the scale drawings on
the preceding pages, that the houses are carefully
planned so that the joints between sections fall at
window or door openings or at partitions so as to
be invisible on either the exterior or the interior.
The bath, heater room and kitchen sink are located
within one section so that the plumbing and heat-
ing systems can be connected at the plant.
The walls of the house are of waterproof ply-
wood bonded on Douglas fir framing. The doors
are of the flush panel type, with the exception of
the kitchen door which is glazed. Windows in the
living room, dining room and bedrooms have large
fixed center panes with top and bottom ventilators.
The bathroom, laundry and kitchen windows are
Prenco homes are fully insulated in walls, floors,
and roof with aluminum foil insulation and at
windows and doors with metal weatherstripping.
Screens for windows and doors are also provided.
Linoleum is furnished and installed in all rooms
and the company does all the painting, varnishing,
and papering. All bathroom fixtures and acces-
sories, a 20 or 30 gallon automatic gas or electric
hot water heater, a two compartment Briggs kitch-
en sink, a complete complement of kitchen cabi-
nets and an automatic forced warm air heating
unit are supplied and installed. Nonmetallic
sheathed cable is used for the wiring system, with
center ceiling fixtures in kitchen, laundry, bed-
rooms, closets, hall and dinette, bracket fixtures in
bathroom and at exterior doors, and plug-in outlets
at convenient locations. Other items such as a
doorbell and a kitchen ventilator are also supplied.
Distribution and Erection
Prenco sells its homes throughout the Pacific
coast states and in the export market directly to
the ultimate purchaser and through developers,
realtors, dealers, and distributors. After the founda-
tion or basement has been completed by Prenco or
its agents only eighty man hours are required at
the site to complete the house for occupancy. The
house sections are loaded upon truck trailers and
transported directly from the factory to the site,
where they are unloaded into position on the
foundation and within a day or two made ready for
the owner. Under normal conditions, Prenco can
deliver a complete house within thirty days after
an order is placed. At present, however, from
sixty to ninety days are required for delivery.
Prenco homes sell for $4,250, $4,950, $5,850,
and $6,500 complete, depending upon the size and
style. These prices include all equipment except a
refrigerator and range. The basic floor plans show
no fireplace but Prenco will construct one, if you
desire, as optional equipment at an additional price.
A carport is included with each home.
RALEIGH MASTERCRAFT HOMES, INC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
The "Stuart" a small two bedroom house selling for less than $2,500 f.o.b. factory.
Additional costs which would have to be paid by the purchaser are estimated to
amount to about $3,400, making the total cost of this house on a completely erected
and equipped basis about $5,900.
The unfinished house pictured above illustrates the "Lee" two bedroom model
with breezeway and garage. This unit sells for $3,300 f.o.b. Raleigh, N. C, and
an estimated $3,650 is necessary for transporting, erecting, equipping, decorating and
otherwise preparing it for occupancy. Thus the cost of this completed Raleigh
Mastercraft Home would be about $7,000 exclusive of land.
Facts and Figures About Mastercraft Homes
RALEIGH MASTERCRAFT HOMES, INC.
is an affiliate of the Contracting & Service
Corp. of New York, which has been engaged for
more than twenty years in such heavy construction
work as the building of subways and industrial
buildings. During the war they constructed approx-
imately one thousand houses which were trans-
ported to England in a knocked down state and
quickly erected there to replace bombed dwell-
ings. Upon the termination of Lend-Lease the
North Carolina plant was converted to the pro-
duction of prefabricated homes for domestic dis-
IS umber of Models
The company produces six different models of
Mastercraft homes, ranging from the "Longstreet,"
having overall dimensions of 28' 5" by 24' 5" and
providing a living room, two bedrooms, small din-
ette, kitchen, bath, and utility room, to the
"Davis," measuring 40' 7" by 3 2' 5" and providing
a large living room and connecting dinette, kitch-
en and utility room, three bedrooms and bath. All
of these homes are planned with first floor utility
rooms for heating and laundry equipment, making
a basement unnecessary for this purpose. If a base-
ment is desired, however, the plans may be slightly
modified to locate a basement stairway in the space
which would otherwise serve as a utility room. The
plans provide for the addition of further rooms
as the need develops and of such optional features
as porches, breezeways, and attached garages.
Method of Distribution
The Raleigh Company will distribute its homes
in all states east of the Mississippi River through
exclusive distributors having specific territories.
Under normal conditions delivery can be made by
the company within one week's time after the
order has been received, but under present condi-
tions about three weeks are required before the
house is ready for delivery. The houses are trans-
ported by freight car or truck from the factory to
the building site, and the expense of such trans-
portation is to be borne by the purchaser.
Materials Supplied by the Company
The Raleigh Company supplies about 75 per
cent of the materials which go into the completed
shell of the house. Exterior walls consist of factory
built panels 4 feet by 8 feet constructed of stand-
ard size studs covered with ¥1 inch waterproof
gyplap sheathing. The bevel siding which is to be
placed over the sheathing is not applied at the fac-
tory but shipped separately to be put on at the
site. Double hung windows and doors complete
with hardware and glass are built into these panels.
The floors are pre-cut with 2 by 8 joists, sills,
bridging, and plyscord subflooring supplied loose
and field applied. All necessary sills and girders
are furnished, and the lower framing members
such as joists, sills, and girders are toxic treated for
termite protection. The roof is formed into panels,
4 feet wide and as long as the roof is high, which
are made of 2 by 6 rafters covered with shiplap
or plyscord sheathing. The company supplies heavy
asphalt strip shingles in a variety of colors, galva-
nized roofing nails, and Slaters felt, but these mate-
rials must be put on at the site at the purchaser's
expense. The gable ends are delivered complete
with vertical wood siding and louvers attached at
the factory. All exterior and interior trim are fur-
nished loose and must be applied by the purchaser
at the site.
Additional Items the Purchaser Must Furnish
Since the Raleigh Company supplies only the
materials for the basic shell of the house, the pros-
pective purchaser must furnish the following items:
a. Site preparation and all foundation costs
b. Erection costs and field labor for applying
shingles, siding and trim
c. Interior wallboard or plaster material and its
d. Chimney or fireplace, terrace and other
e. Finish flooring in all principal rooms and
linoleum for kitchen and bath
f. All heating, plumbing, sanitary, electrical
work and fixtures
g. Kitchen cabinets, medicine cabinets, etc.
h. All painting, varnishing and wallpapering
The prices charged by the Raleigh Company for
the house shell f.o.b. the North Carolina factory
range from $2,200 for the two bedroom size to
$3,000 for the largest three bedroom house. The
additional items which the house purchaser must
furnish would at least equal the price paid for the
house shell. Thus the ultimate cost of these homes
is at least double the Raleigh price, or between
$4,500 and $7,500.
Hi ^jsB Bp
HR BJ S
GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY
Akron 16, Ohio
Above: Wingfoot Home styled in the southwest motif.
Above; The living room, though small, is attractive and well planned. The large front
window and two rear windows make the room airy and bright.
Below; Larger bedroom of two bedroom house showing double bed, vanity, chest and
closet. Floor plan of the two bedroom house shows location of all built-in units.
Facts and Figures About Wingfoot Homes
THE WINGFOOT HOME, produced by a
subsidiary of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.,
is a unique type of prefabricated house. It was
developed and first produced in 1942 at a pilot
plant located at Litchfield Park, Arizona, and pro-
duction at plants in Arizona and Ohio has now
been perfected to the point where the company
can build fifty thousand units per year if it can get
the raw materials and equipment. The house is en-
tirely built and assembled at the factory in a size
which is small enough to permit delivery by truck
over any highway in the country. On the truck it
appears to be little more than a gigantic box, but
upon arrival at the site the Wingfoot blossoms
forth, with telescoping wings that pull out like
drawers and a small entrance porch, into an at-
tractive Lilliputian bungalow.
Delivered Completely Erected and Equipped
When you purchase a Wingfoot home you can
rest assured that there will be no multitude of extra
expenses to run up the ultimate cost. The house is
delivered with the bathroom completely supplied
with shower bath, toilet, lavatory and medicine
cabinet. The kitchen cabinets, sink, gas range and
ice refrigerator are furnished and installed. A
twenty-gallon automatic hot water heater and a
radiant type gas heater are in their proper locations
when the house arrives. Even the bedroom furni-
ture is built-in to achieve compactness and to affect
further savings. The plumbing is connected; the
wiring and fixtures are installed. All the site work
required is the placing of a block foundation, the
depositing of the house on this foundation and the
connection of the utility systems to the public
water, gas and power lines. Within an hour after
the house is delivered you can relax in the quiet
sanctity of your new home.
Number of Models Offered
Goodyear offers two different models of the
Wingfoot home. One is a two bedroom house
with a built-in double bed, vanity, chest of draw-
ers, and closet in one bedroom, and a built-in
double bunk, chest, shelves, and closet in the
other bedroom. The other model has only one
bedroom, which provides a built-in double bed,
vanity, two chests of drawers and two closets. With
the exception of these differences the two models
are exactly alike. The overall dimensions are 26
feet long by 15 feet wide in the bedroom area
and 8 feet wide over the rest of the house.
Priced to be Available to a New Market
It has been noted that a large part of our popu-
lation has been denied the opportunity to live in
a new home of their own because their income
precluded payment of more than $20 to $35 per
month for housing. The Wingfoot home, which
will sell for about $2,500, affords small families in
these lower income groups with the possibility of
purchasing a home for payments of no more than
$20 to $30 per month. While the house is cer-
tainly not spacious, it provides the opportunity to
be the original occupants of quarters in which the
equipment is new and modern rather than worn
Suitable for a Wide Variety of Uses
These homes have widespread usefulness to
many outside the lower income groups. Many
older couples, whose children are grown and away
from home, will seek smaller houses which require
a minimum of upkeep and care but still affords the
satisfaction of independent living. Two or three
working girls can pool their resources and purchase
and operate this little house for less than they
would pay for furnished rooms. A Wingfoot unit
would afford a room for entertainment, cooking
facilities, and separate bedrooms for two girls, or
joint rooms for as many as four.
Furthermore, these homes should have a sub-
stantial resale value. Because they are small and
can be easily and cheaply moved these houses can
be purchased and transported to a new location to
serve as a guest house, a cottage at the beach or a
retreat in the mountains or woods.
Materials Used in Wingfoot Construction
Exterior walls are made of heavy-grade plywood,
and interior walls are of Masonite or plywood. Both
interior and exterior walls are painted and various
color combinations are available. The floors are
five-ply plywood covered with attractive linoleum.
The roofing is of Pioneer Flintkote or equivalent
two-ply asbestos white top. The entire house is
carefully insulated with Kimsul insulation. Win-
dow and door screens and window blinds are fur-
nished. Lighting fixtures include a porch light,
overhead light above kitchen sink, bathroom light
and fixtures in both bedrooms. Six double outlets
are also provided.
Directory of Prefabricators
Allen Unit Construction, Inc.
Box 1415, Birmingham, Ala.
H. E. Concrete Homes, 1504 N. 17th St.,
T. C. King Co., Anniston, Ala.
Cabana Co., 75 W. Portland,
Prefabricated Homes, Inc., P.O. Box 1112,
Southwestern Sash & Door Co., Phoenix, Ariz.
Williams Construction & Engineering Co., P.O.
Box 344, Phoenix, Ariz.
Black Lumber Co., Corning, Ark.
Bralei Homes, Inc., P.O. Box 109, North Little
Modern Building Manufacturers, Pine Bluff, Ark.
Barr Lumber Co., Santa Anna, Calif.
Bates Prefabricated Structures, Burlingame, Calif.
Blackstone Homes, 11707 Wicks Street,
Brown & Johnson, Los Angeles, Calif.
California Homes, 1132 M St.,
California Pre-Fab. Corp., 5301 Valley Blvd.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Custom Built Homes, 601 E. Broadway, Long
Drycemble Corp., South Gate, Calif.
F. J. Early Co., 369 Pine Street, San Francisco,
Camel, Inc., 174 Carroll St.,
Haddock Engineers, 1 29 W. 2nd St.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Hamill & Jones, 3029 Exposition Blvd., Los An-
Hayes Econocrete Corp., 112 W. Ninth St., Los
Hayward Lumber Co., P.O. Box 7029, East Los
Kaiser Community Homes, 875 Subway Terminal
Bldg., Los Angeles, Calif.
Kashner-Bender, Inc., 704 Spring St.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Latisteel, Inc., 3272 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena,
C. H. Lehman, Shields & Garfield Ave.,
Lincoln Lumber Co., Oakland, Calif.
Claude Lindsay, Inc., 824 Taroval St.,
San Francisco, Calif.
Metal Homes Co., 4041 Goodwin Ave.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Normac, Inc., 1007 S. Grand Ave.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Oliver-Loughland Co., 230 E. Vardugo Ave.,
Ply-W r el Industries, 4905 Tidewater Ave., Oak-
Plywood Structures, Inc., 6307 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Pre-Bilt Homes Co., 2901 S. San Pedro St.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Precision Homes Co., Stockton, Calif.
Prefab Mfg. Co., 4085 E. Sheila St.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Production Line Structures, 941 North La Cienga
Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.
Quality Homes, 1022 S. Robertson Blvd., Los
Rand Construction Co., 6239 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Security Finance & Building Co., 6513 Hollywood
Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.
Standard Demountable Homes, Los Angeles, Calif,
Stewart & Bennet, National City, Calif.
Soule Steel Co., 1750 Army St., San Francisco,
Construction Products Co., 6000 W. 13th Ave.,
Denver 15, Colo.
Durabilt Homes Co., Denver, Colo.
City Lumber Co., 75 Third Street, Bridgeport,
Prefab Construction Co., Dayville, Conn.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Allen Unit Construction, Inc., 3237 M St., N. W.,
Washington, D. O*
Byrne Company, 2607 Conn. Ave., N. W.,
Washington, D. C.
Hudson Supply Co., 1727 Penna Ave., N. W.,
Washington, D. C.
United States Housing Co., 1629 K Street, N.W.,
Washington, D. C.
J. W. Campbell, Inc., Palatka, Fla.
Dooley's Basin & Dry Dock, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale,
Flury & Crouch, Inc., W. Palm Beach, Fla.
Maurice Harrison Co., Hialeah, Fla.
Tec-Bilt Homes, 9535 N. E. Second Ave.,
Miami 38, Fla.
Better Living, Inc., 339 W. Peachtree, N.E.,
Georgia Consolidated Contracting Co., Ellaville,
Georgia Housing Co., Macon, Ga.
Ira Hardin Co., Atlanta, Ga.
Knox Corporation, Thomson, Ga.
U.S. Homes, Inc., Marietta, Ga,
Best Construction & Fabricating Co.,
630 W. Lake St., Peoria, 111.
Darrow Co., Polo, 111.
Dorr Associates, 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago,
Economy Portable Housing Co., West Chicago,
G. B. H. Way Homes, Inc., Walnut, 111.
General Houses, Inc., Chicago Daily News Bldg.,
Green's Ready-Built Homes, Rockford, 111.
Home Corporation of America, DeKalb, 111.
Home-Ola Corporation, 9 South Clinton Street,
Illinois Lumber Mfg. Co., Cairo, 111.
Liberty Homes Corp., 1 North LaSalle Street,
Lustron Corp., 1401 So. 55th Court,
Quality Homes Inc., Joliet, 111.
R. W. Revis, Newman, 111.
Riverdale Millwork Co., 341 E. 136th St.,
Rock Island Lumber Co., Rock Island, 111.
Shappert Engineering Co., Belvidere, 111.
Structures, Inc, 130 N. Wells St., Chicago, 111.
Wright Co., 9317 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago,
Barlow & Williams, Indianapolis, Ind.
Continental Homes, Inc., Crawfordsville, Ind.
General Industries, 3033 Wayne Trace,
Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Gunnison Homes, Inc., New Albany, Ind.
Indiana Demountable Housing, Inc., 907 E. Mich-
igan Ave., Indianapolis, Ind.
Modern Builders, Inc., Evansville, Ind.
Monroe Corp., 4500 Ralston Ave.,
National Homes Corp., Lafayette, Ind.
New Century Homes, Inc., Clinton, Ind.
Pre-Fab Industries, 1601 S. Main Street,
South Bend, Ind.
Bennett Box Co., Clinton, Iowa
General Timber Service, Dubuque, Iowa
Gordon Van Tine Co., Des Moines, Iowa
Fuller Houses, Inc., Wichita, Kans.
American Fabricators, Inc., 500 E. Main St.,
Cumberland Homes, Middlesboro, Ky.
General Plywood Corp., 3131 W. Market St.,
Crawford Co., Baton Rouge, La.
Precision Cut Homes Corp., 2337 Tulane Ave.,
New Orleans, La.
Camden Shipbuilding Co., Camden, Me.
Eastern Homes, Inc., Portland, Me.
Atlantic Mill & Lumber Co., Baltimore, Md.
Drycemble Houses, Inc., Baltimore, Md.
Maryland Modern Housing Corp., P.O. Box 7345,
Halethorpe, Baltimore, Md.
New Century Homes, Bethesda, Md.
Samuel Pistorio, Carroll Station, Baltimore, Md.
Prefabricators, Inc. 3437 S. Hanover St.,
Tovell Construction Co., 403 W. Monument
Street, Baltimore, Md.
Anchorage Homes, Inc., Westfield, Mass.
Bell Building Co., 172 Union St.,
E. F. Hodgson Co., 1110 Commonwealth Ave.,
Prebilt Co., Revere, Mass.
Resco Homes, 49 Pearl Ave., Winthrop, Mass.
Wolsey Co., 1 37 Green St., Maiden, Mass.
Aladdin Co, Bay City, Mich.
Builders Mfg. Co, 11711 E. Eight Mile Road,
East Detroit, Mich.
Cadillac Millwork, 18901 Grand River,
Detroit 23, Mich.
Currier Lumber Co, 17507 Van Dyke Ave,
Detroit 5, Mich.
Defoe Shipbuilding Corp, Homes Div, Bay City,
Eddy Shipbuilding Corp, Bay City, Mich.
Evans Products Co, 15310 Fullerton Ave,
Field Detroit Co, 651 W. Baltimore Street,
Jaeger Homes Mfg. Co, 14300 Promenade Ave,
Lewis Mfg. Co, Bay City, Mich.
Lumber Fabricators, Inc., 728 Fisher Bldg,
Nichols & Cox Lumber Co, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Palace Corp, Flint, Mich.
Reid Building Co, Birmingham, Mich.
Riedel Lumber Co, Marlette, Mich.
Saco Mfg. Co, Milan, Mich.
Stout Homes, Inc., Stevenson Bldg, Detroit,
Strathmoor Co, 14000 Grand River Ave,
PAGE AND HILL COMPANY
Canton Bros, Watson, Minn.
Capp Mfg. Co, 1143 Dupont Ave,
Corn-Fit Builders, Waterville, Minn.
Foss Lumber Co, Moorhead, Minn.
Page & Hill Co, 1017 Plymouth Bldg, Minne-
Rilco Laminated Products, Inc., First National
Bank Bldg, St. Paul, Minn.
Green Lumber Co, Laurel, Miss.
HOME BUILDING CORP.
Butler Mfg. Co, Kansas City, Mo.
Fabricated Building Corp. 308 So. Jefferson St.,
Fox Bros Mfg. Co, 2717 Sidney St,
St. Louis, Mo.
Home Building Corp, Sedalia, Mo.
Economy Housing Co, Wahoo, Nebr.
General Timber Service, Inc., P.O. Box 1632,
Green Hill Lumber Co, Plainfield, N. J.
Moyer Co, Linwood, N. J.
Par-Lock Appliers, 1150 Southard St,
Trenton, N. J.
Plainfield Lumber & Supply Co, Plainfield, N. J.
Porete Mfg. Co, North Arlington, N. J.
Precision Built Homes Corp, Trenton, N. J.
Stanway Prefabricated Buildings Co, Montclair,
Weil-Built Mfg. Co, Somerville, N. J.
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co, Eastern Dist. Yards,
Newark 1, N. J.
Winner Mfg. Co, Inc., Box 399, Trenton, N. J.
GENERAL PANEL CORP.
Adirondack Log Cabin Co., 14} E. 45th Street,
New York, N. Y.
American Houses, Inc., 570 Lexington Ave.,
New York, N. Y.
American Lumber Products Corp.,
103 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y.
Bennett Lumber Corp., North Tonawanda, N. Y.
Bent Steel Co., 43-24 37th Street, Long Island
City, N. Y.
Construction Fabricators, Inc., 445 Porter Ave.,
Crouch & Beahan Co., 99 Dewey Ave.,
Rochester, N. Y.
Dade Brothers, Inc., Mineola, Long Island, N. Y.
Factory Built Homes, Inc., McDonough, N. Y.
Factory Built Mfg. Co., 420 Lexington Ave.,
New York, N. Y.
General Fabricating Co., 33 W. 42nd Street,
New York, N. Y.
General Panel Corp., 103 Park Avenue, New York,
Johnson Quality Homes, Inc., 270 41st Street,
Brooklyn, N. Y.
M. B. Kolb Co., 250 W. 57th Street, New York,
Metz Homes, Inc., Hicksville, Long Island, N. Y.
Mifflinburg Body Works, Prebilt Homes Div.,
200 Madison Ave., New York, N. Y.
Northern Prefabricating Corp., 12 Ridge St.,
Glen Falls, N. Y.
PHC-Peerless Housing Co., 300 Fourth Ave.,
New York, N. Y.
Shelter Industries, Inc., 630 Fifth Ave., New York,
Takapart Products Co., Freeport, Long Island,
Charlotte Lumber & Mfg. Co., Charlotte, N. C.
Raleigh Prefabricated Homes, Inc., P.O. Box 627,
Raleigh, N. C.
Arlington Homes Mfg. Co., 1300 W. 3rd St.,
Cleveland 13, Ohio
Bruscino Builders, 17309 Madison Ave.,
Cosy Cottages, Inc., 1895 So. High St.,
Forest City Material Co., 17903 St. Clair Ave.,
General Building Units, Dayton, Ohio
Hilz Homes Co., Toronto, Ohio
Industrial Supply Co., Grafton, Ohio
Martin Steel Products Co., 1111 W. Longview
Ave., Mansfield, Ohio
Midwest Fabricating Co., Box 334, Mansfield,
Pease Woodwork Co., Blue Rock & Turrill Streets,
Riderwood Lumber Processing Co., 301 Ingalis
Bldg., Cincinnati, Ohio
Sanford, Inc., Avon Lake, Ohio
Skill-Craft Homes, Inc., i860 E. Market St.,
Steelcraft Mfg. Co., 16 E. 72nd Street, Cincinnati,
Sturdy-Bilt Homes, Inc., 618-20 Madison Ave.,
Toledo Factory Built Homes, 415 Madison Ave.,
Wingfoot Homes, Inc., 1144 E. Market Street,
SOUTHERN MILL & MFG. CO.
W. P. Atkinson Lumber Co., Oklahoma City,
Southern Mill & Mfg. Co., P.O. Box 1087,
Keith Brown Building Supply, Salem, Ore.
M. D. Hicklin, Oswego, Ore.
Horsley Structures, Inc., Eugene, Oreg.
Prefabrication Engineering Co., American Bank
Building, Portland, Oreg.
Timber Structures, Inc., P.O. Box 3782, Portland,
HOUSTON READY-CUT HOUSE CO.
Adequate Housing, Inc., Fidelity-Philadelphia
Bldg., Philadelphia, Pa.
Admiral Homes, Inc., West Newton, Pa.
Allied Housing Associates, Langhorne, Pa.
Harmon Corp., 1431 Land Title Bldg.,
Philadelphia 10, Pa.
Johnson Co., Sharon, Pa.
P & K Woodcrafting Co., Canonsburg, Pa.
Pan-L-Homes Co., 305 Magee Bldg.,
Penna Dri-Bilt Housing Co., Emporia, Pa.
Precision Built Homes, 301 Green Ridge,
Rieger Co., 4634 Parrish St., Philadelphia, Pa.
Sunnybrook, Inc., Glenside, Pa.
Vacuum Concrete, 4210 Samson Street, Philadel-
Welcome Homes, Inc., West Chester, Pa.
West Penn Sand & Gravel Co., 12 McCandless
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Conway Homes, Inc., Conway, S. C.
American Prefabricators, Garland, Texas
Capital Prefabricators, Inc., 6616 Dallas Highway,
General Housing Co., 2121 N. Beckley, Dallas,
Houston Ready-Cut House Co., 3601 Polk Ave.,
Klinger Mfg. Co., San Antonio, Texas
R. G. LeTourneau, Inc., Longview, Texas
Meyers Construction Co., Raymondville, Texas
Panhandle American Houses, Amarillo, Texas
Southwest American Houses, Houston, Texas
Texas Prefabricated Housing Co., Dallas 9, Texas
Anderson Lumber Co., Ogden, Utah
Solar Homes Co., Brattleboro, Vt.
Lincoln Industries, Inc., Marion, Va.
Pre-Fab Industries Corp., Richmond, Va.
Minter Homes Corp., Huntington, W. Va.
Scott Lumber Co., 1112 Chapline Street, Wheel-
ing, W. Va.
Brady Construction Co., 707 Spokane Street,
Buffelen Lbr. & Mfg. Co., Lincoln Ave. & Taylor
Way, Tacoma, Wash.
Dunham Const. Co., 1110 Baily St.,
Farwest Sales & Engineering, 6420 S. Tacoma
Way, Tacoma, Wash.
Matheny & Bacon, 1710 Fourth Ave., So.,
Modelow Co., 3400— 16th W., Seattle, Wash.
North Gaines Lumber Co., Auburn, Wash.
Precision Builders, 3116 S. Oakes St.,
Preco Corp., Bellingham, Wash.
Prefabricated Products Co., 4000 Iowa, Seattle 6,
Rowe & Thompson, 9004 So. 19th St.,
South Bend Fabricating, South Bend, Wash.
Standard Prefabricating Corp., 5400 Marginal Western Home Builders, 615 Alaska Ave., Seattle,
Way, Seattle, Wash. Wash.
Tacoma Lumber Fabricating Co., P.O. Box 1133,
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN BUYING A HOME
Does the Price Include these Materials and Equipment?
Excavating & Grading
Foundation or Basement
Drainage Tile Around Base-
Basement Windows & Frames
Sill and Anchor Bolts
Studs, Plates & Sheathing
Building Paper Between
Sheathing and Exterior
Siding, Shingles, Stucco or
Lath & Plaster or Wallboard
Varnish & Stain
Wallpaper or Paint
Joists and Bridging
Hardwood Finish Flooring
Linoleum for Kitchen and
Building Paper Between
Subflooring & Finished
Roof and Ceiling
Rafters, Ridges, Collar
Roofing Shingles, Built-up
Ceiling Joists, Bridging
Headers, Plates & Stripping
Lath & Plaster or Wallboard
Doors and Windows
Exterior & Interior Doors
Door Frames & Trim
Window Sash with Glass
Frames and Balances
Window and Door Screens
Hardware: hinges, lock sets,
window fixtures, screen
Door & Window Flashing
Valleys & Ridges
Stairs and Hand Rail
Second Floor or Attic
Cabinets and Interior Detail
Shelves in Closets
Clothes Hooks & Hanger
Towel Rods, Paper Holders,
Door Stops, etc.
W ater Heater
Water Softener & Condi-
Exterior Hose Bibs
Oil Storage Tank (wheje oil
burner is employed )
Overhead Fixtures — Kitch-
en, Utility Room, Base-
ment, Dining Room, Bath
Porches and Terraces
Seeding or Sodding
Walks and Drives
B. Structural Factors to be Considered
Load Capacity: The use of undersize or
inferior materials for studs, joists, or raft-
ers may result in sagging floors and roofs
and cracked walls. The builder should
guarantee that the structure is heavy
enough to sustain a load of 40 pounds
per square foot on the first floor, 30
pounds on the second floor, and 20
pounds on pitched roofs. In northern
climates where annual snowfall exceeds
60 inches the roof structure should be
heavy enough to support 30 pounds per
Foundation: However carefully the su-
perstructure of a house may be framed,
an inadequate foundation will result in
uneven settling and cracking of plaster
or bathroom tile. Foundation walls and
piers must be large enough to spread the
weight over the supporting subsoil and
deep enough to extend below the frost
line and the effects of winter freezes and
thaws. Eight inches is usually the mini-
mum width for foundation walls, and
these should be supported by concrete
footings measuring from 14 inches to 20
inches across. Basement walls should be
waterproofed and drainage tile laid
around the basement footing in order to
prevent the accumulation of soil water
along the wall surface.
Protection Against Termites: In order to
protect a frame house against termites a
metal shield, extending 4 or 5 inches on
either side of the foundation, should be
placed between the foundation and the
wooden superstructure. When the house
is built without a basement, air vents
should be installed in the foundation
walls to prevent dead air pockets beneath
the frame construction.
Wall Framing and Exterior Surface: In
order to compensate for the framing
members which must be omitted to pro
vide a door or window opening, double
studs should be used at either side and
double 2x4 headers placed across the top
of such openings. Where plywood is em-
ployed as the exterior surface material
and is exposed to the weather, it should
be bonded with waterproof, resinous
glue and meet the requirements of Com-
mercial Standard CS45-40 of the Na-
tional Bureau of Standards.
Chimneys: All chimneys and flues should
have masonry foundations and should
extend at least 2 feet above flat roofs and
one foot above the highest ridge of a
pitched roof. Fire clay flue linings should
be built into all chimneys, the walls of
which are less than 8 inches thick.
Insulation: In order to have effective in-
sulation the ceilings and floors of a
house, as well as its exterior walls, must
be fully insulated and windows and doors
must be weatherstripped. Homes with
very large window areas should be sup-
plied with double pane windows having
an insulating air space between the two
glass surfaces. ■
Electrical Wiring: Both the materials and
the workmanship employed in wiring a
house should comply with the National
Electrical Code, Several municipalities
have passed ordinances requiring observ-
ance of this code, and fire insurance com-
panies mav refuse to issue policies cover-
ing premises which are not properly
Plumbing: Materials and installation
should be in compliance with the
"Plumbing Manual" (BMS 66) issued
by the National Bureau of Standards in
Materials and Structure which meet
F.H.A. Requirements: The F.H.A. will
not insure a loan on a new house unless
the materials and methods of construc-
tion meet minimum requirements estab-
lished by this federal agency. Since most
prefabricators have submitted their
houses to F.H.A. for its approval, a pros-
pective purchaser should ascertain from
his regional F.H.A. office whether the
prefabricated house of his choice meets
its material and structural requirements.
. Prefabricated houses